Diet Self Sabotage, looking for answers

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In my weight loss journey, I have had a lot of experience with the ups and downs on the scale and overall body health.  I can do really well with eating the right choices for some time, and then just completely run off the rails and eat all the wrong things.  Since September of 2013 I have lost 42 pounds, which I am really proud of however I look back on the multitude of times I just threw in the towel and gained weight back during that time and it frustrates me because I know I could be even lower if I didn’t continually self sabotage my diet.

obstacleI don’t quite understand why I do it.  It almost feels like I can’t help myself, sometimes the desire to eat something “bad” is overwhelming.  Like in most cases when I need help understanding something I turn to our wonderful internet.  I found a great article by Annie Berryhill that I am including below.  Her post is called “Tools to Overcoming Self Sabotaging Behavior”  It’s re-posted below.  I really gained some insight into my behavior and some tools I am going to try and use when I feel like I am going to eat something I will ultimately regret.

Are you sabotaging yourself?

If you have ever really tried to stick to a nutrition program, then you have most likely failed, either in a little or a HUGE way. It happens to 99.99% of the people that I have ever counseled or spoken to about this problem. It doesn’t matter if you have a degree in nutrition. Or just a person who found something that works. At some point, your program is going to be challenged.

Speaking with a friend today, I was shocked at her admission of her struggles. She is an accomplished, professional athlete. And naturally I expected that she had her program together in order to get to her level of competition.

She confided in me that she has always struggled to stay on a program for the long haul. It is a common habit for her to get a few weeks into it, and then react to some situation. And totally blow out her “stick” to the program. She just blows it. And it starts to spiral downward. Admittedly, she does not really know or understand why she does this to herself.

Have you experienced this? It’s mind-blowing to me. Because she was about the 3rd person this WEEK that had come to me with their personal tales of repeated self-sabotage behavior.

In the course of those conversations, I had the opportunity to dig a little deeper to try and understand them. And what my own similar experiences mean. From those interactions, I wanted to share some simple yet powerful tools for recognizing and overcoming the self-sabotaging behavior that can bring us down.

Tools to Overcome Self Sabotaging Behavior

1. Identify the feeling that IMMEDIATELY preceded the stumble. Were you feeling angry, frustrated, powerless, overwhelmed, undervalued, rebellious, tired, lazy, and resentful? It is so important to be brave and honest enough to look that emotion in the face. It is a huge part of the discovery process.

2. What situation(s) initiated that feeling you discovered above? Did you have an argument? Are you overwhelmed with your responsibilities? Financial pressures? Trouble at work? Kids got you pulling your hair out? Any one of those situations could evoke a strong emotional response.

3. Why did you start this program? Or, why do you start it over and over? What result are you striving to achieve? I mean, is it just weight loss? Or is it to impress someone? To get someone’s attention? Is it to be perceived by people a different way? Or simply to look and feel better in your body? Why is this question so important? Your reason for starting this in the first place has to be big enough. So when the emotional life trials kick in to low or high gear, your reason better be a pretty strong one to weather the storm.

In other words, is your goal REALLY your goal? This is how you can tell. In that split second moment of decision, and you say to yourself, “Do I want this (INSERT CRAPPY CHOICE HERE) right now? Because if I do it, it means that I want that more than I want my BIG GOAL/REASON. Let that settle on you for a second. Choose 1 way and get 1 result. Choose the other way and get a different result. Never shall the 2 intersect.

In the end, the actions you take are the TRUEST measure of what your real goals and desires are.

It may be that somewhere deep inside of you, you want the goal. But you DON’T BELIEVE YOU DESERVE IT! That is why you mess up so bad. THAT is why you can’t ever get to the finish line. It’s deep water, I know… But in order to make this change, you are going to have to get wet.

So, from now on, when you are tempted to cheat or blow it, go through the exercises above. Verify that this is not going to be about self-sabotaging behavior. Or about negative feelings as a response to a negative (or even positive-think celebrating) situation. So if you are genuinely just going to allow yourself a cheat MEAL… Then do it. And LOVE it! But a reactionary treat meal is likely to lead you down a path that is far away from your goals.

The very last, and potentially most important piece is the accountability. Who can you profess your goals to? Who will call you out when you try to make excuses for NOT pursuing your stated goals? It’s gotta be someone strong. Someone you trust. Who won’t be intimidated by your emotional side. And who has only your best interests to serve. It could be a friend, spouse (yikes!), or a coach like me. But it is the handrails on the rope bridge over the canyon.

These are tools I use myself and teach to the people I coach. They work and I offer them to you. And hope that you try them so that they can work for you too!

– See more at: http://www.anneberryhill.com/diet-failures-tools-to-overcome-self-sabotaging-behavior/#sthash.p3nbHRZ9.dpuf

Are you sabotaging yourself?

If you have ever really tried to stick to a nutrition program, then you have most likely failed, either in a little or a HUGE way. It happens to 99.99% of the people that I have ever counseled or spoken to about this problem. It doesn’t matter if you have a degree in nutrition. Or just a person who found something that works. At some point, your program is going to be challenged.

Speaking with a friend today, I was shocked at her admission of her struggles. She is an accomplished, professional athlete. And naturally I expected that she had her program together in order to get to her level of competition.

She confided in me that she has always struggled to stay on a program for the long haul. It is a common habit for her to get a few weeks into it, and then react to some situation. And totally blow out her “stick” to the program. She just blows it. And it starts to spiral downward. Admittedly, she does not really know or understand why she does this to herself.

Have you experienced this? It’s mind-blowing to me. Because she was about the 3rd person this WEEK that had come to me with their personal tales of repeated self-sabotage behavior.

In the course of those conversations, I had the opportunity to dig a little deeper to try and understand  them. And what my own similar experiences mean. From those interactions, I wanted to share some simple yet powerful tools for recognizing and overcoming the self-sabotaging behavior that can bring us down.

Tools to Overcome Self Sabotaging Behavior

1. Identify the feeling that IMMEDIATELY preceded the stumble. Were you feeling angry, frustrated, powerless, overwhelmed, undervalued, rebellious, tired, lazy, resentful? It is so important to be brave and honest enough to look that emotion in the face. It is a huge part of the discovery process.

2. What situation(s)  initiated that feeling you discovered above? Did you have an argument? Are you overwhelmed with your responsibilities? Financial pressures? Trouble at work? Kids got you pulling your hair out? Any one of those situations could evoke a strong emotional response.

3. Why did you start this program? Or, why do you start it over and over? What result are you striving to achieve? I mean, is it just weight loss? Or is it to impress someone? To get someones attention? Is it to be perceived by people a different way? Or simply to look and feel better in your body? Why is this question so important? Your reason for starting this in the first place has to be big enough. So when the emotional life trials kick in to low or high gear, your reason better be a pretty strong one to weather the storm.

– See more at: http://www.anneberryhill.com/diet-failures-tools-to-overcome-self-sabotaging-behavior/#sthash.p3nbHRZ9.dpuf

Diet Failures – Tools to Overcome Self Sabotaging Behavior – See more at: http://www.anneberryhill.com/diet-failures-tools-to-overcome-self-sabotaging-behavior/#sthash.p3nbHRZ9.dpuf
Diet Failures – Tools to Overcome Self Sabotaging Behavior – See more at: http://www.anneberryhill.com/diet-failures-tools-to-overcome-self-sabotaging-behavior/#sthash.p3nbHRZ9.dpuf
Diet Failures – Tools to Overcome Self Sabotaging Behavior – See more at: http://www.anneberryhill.com/diet-failures-tools-to-overcome-self-sabotaging-behavior/#sthash.p3nbHRZ9.dpuf

Are you sabotaging yourself?

If you have ever really tried to stick to a nutrition program, then you have most likely failed, either in a little or a HUGE way. It happens to 99.99% of the people that I have ever counseled or spoken to about this problem. It doesn’t matter if you have a degree in nutrition. Or just a person who found something that works. At some point, your program is going to be challenged.

Speaking with a friend today, I was shocked at her admission of her struggles. She is an accomplished, professional athlete. And naturally I expected that she had her program together in order to get to her level of competition.

She confided in me that she has always struggled to stay on a program for the long haul. It is a common habit for her to get a few weeks into it, and then react to some situation. And totally blow out her “stick” to the program. She just blows it. And it starts to spiral downward. Admittedly, she does not really know or understand why she does this to herself.

Have you experienced this? It’s mind-blowing to me. Because she was about the 3rd person this WEEK that had come to me with their personal tales of repeated self-sabotage behavior.

In the course of those conversations, I had the opportunity to dig a little deeper to try and understand  them. And what my own similar experiences mean. From those interactions, I wanted to share some simple yet powerful tools for recognizing and overcoming the self-sabotaging behavior that can bring us down.

Tools to Overcome Self Sabotaging Behavior

1. Identify the feeling that IMMEDIATELY preceded the stumble. Were you feeling angry, frustrated, powerless, overwhelmed, undervalued, rebellious, tired, lazy, resentful? It is so important to be brave and honest enough to look that emotion in the face. It is a huge part of the discovery process.

2. What situation(s)  initiated that feeling you discovered above? Did you have an argument? Are you overwhelmed with your responsibilities? Financial pressures? Trouble at work? Kids got you pulling your hair out? Any one of those situations could evoke a strong emotional response.

3. Why did you start this program? Or, why do you start it over and over? What result are you striving to achieve? I mean, is it just weight loss? Or is it to impress someone? To get someones attention? Is it to be perceived by people a different way? Or simply to look and feel better in your body? Why is this question so important? Your reason for starting this in the first place has to be big enough. So when the emotional life trials kick in to low or high gear, your reason better be a pretty strong one to weather the storm.

– See more at: http://www.anneberryhill.com/diet-failures-tools-to-overcome-self-sabotaging-behavior/#sthash.p3nbHRZ9.dpuf

Overcoming the weight loss slump….Great Tips!

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Today I woke and realized I needed some help in getting out of a slump.  Though I have lost 40 pounds, I have lately found myself throwing in the towel so to speak on staying true to my food choices and working out.   So off to google I went to find some inspiration.   I found this amazing article up on ZenHabits by Leo Babauta with great tips to help you get back up and say, “Yes I Can!”

It’s true, “even the most motivated of us — you, me, Tony Robbins — can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive changes seems too difficult.

But it’s not hopeless: with some small steps, baby ones in fact, you can get started down the road to positive change.

Yes, I know, it seems impossible at times. You don’t feel like doing anything.  Here are some great tips to break out of a slump.

  • One Goal. Whenever I’ve been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.one goal
  • Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories or find cute funny pics and anecdotes to make me smile.  I posted in the pic below a link to a motivational video on YouTube-  it’s a combo of a bunch of inspirational movie speeches……Get’s your blood pumping.  inspiration
  • Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going.
  • Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.announce
  • Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.
  • Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone.  Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.  For me, I have found that connecting with family and friends that also want to lose weight helps me.  When I am struggling, they get it- they have been there.  I also connect with people on our website and social sites.  Sometimes being in a group of like minded people can help you stay motivated.  diet friends
  • Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal, ask for help, and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.
  • Stick with it. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.
  • Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20.  Baby steps.one pound at time
  • Read about it daily. When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.
  • Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Send me a message on facebook– I will write you back!  Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn’t matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you overcome your slump. It works.
  • Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.
  • Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, YES I CAN!!”

yes I can

I love these tips, I hope you do as well.  Please visit our weight loss community on Facebook, Twitter and our website www.theweightrace.com

Summer LaBrie

Positive body image and why it’s so hard for some

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Since September of 2013 I started on my renewed weight loss journey.  I have gained and lost many times over the years, but I decided this was it-  I was going to get to a healthy weight and maintain it.  Of course it’s easier said then done and while I have had quite a few setbacks, I still have lost 34 pounds so far.

Something I have noted myself doing lately though instead of celebrating has been to tell myself “I feel heavy today.”  It’s the weirdest thing, in the morning I will wake up, go about my routine and then head into weigh myself with this fear and overwhelming feeling of heaviness.  Like I just know I’ve gained weight.  Then I step on the scale and I am the same or have lost some  more.    I have even vocalized this via text to one of my dieting buddies and she pointed out to me this morning that I needed to stop.  I hadn’t really grasped how much I was doing it and I don’t really understand why I am.  I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking and believing in good things, yet seeing my body image in a positive light is evading me.

HLG_PhantomWoman2I googled this mystery and found out that I am not alone.  In a great article by Jacqueline Stenson I found some insight.  One expert on the topic notes  “People who were formerly overweight often still carry that internal image, perception, with them,” says Elayne Daniels, a psychologist in Canton, Mass., who specializes in body-image issues. “They literally feel as if they’re in a large body still.”

Daniels and other experts suspect this may happen because the brain hasn’t “caught up” with the new, leaner body, particularly for people who were obese for many years and then experienced rapid weight loss.  “Body image is a lot harder to change than the actual physical body is,” Daniels says.

“Another contributing factor, especially for yo-yo dieters, can be fear of regaining the weight,” says Joshua Hrabosky, a psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital who studies body image and counsels obese people.  “They’re still in the back of their minds maybe waiting for the other shoe to drop,” he says. People who’ve gained and lost and gained again may be less likely to embrace a new image that they worry won’t last.

answer

“You have to look at retraining your brain and understanding that you have been reinforcing this negative image for probably a long time,” says Adrienne Ressler, a body-image specialist and national training director for the Renfrew Center Foundation, which has several eating disorder-treatment facilities around the country.

“We become numb to how mean we’re being to ourselves,” Ressler says.

“We need to learn to appreciate our bodies,” she says. “If we could all look in the mirror and say, ‘Hello, Gorgeous!’ I just think the world would be a better place.”

I am going to try this for myself, I am going to say Hello Gorgeous in the morning and every morning after!  Why don’t you give it a shot as well.

Here is the link to the full article if your interested :  http://www.nbcnews.com/id/31489881/ns/health-womens_health/t/phantom-fat-can-linger-after-weight-loss/#.UuCBXLSIbIU

Make sure and visit us on Facebook and Twitter and look for official updates on the relaunch of our member community and site www.theweightrace.com

One Pound At A Time

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I have been on one diet or another pretty much my whole life.  With exception of several periods of time when I just decide that I am giving up.  Why do I give up??  I think it’s because I become overwhelmed with the time it takes to lose weight.  I focus so much on the big picture that I forget that every pound lost is a win for my health.  When I saw this simple photo, “One Pound At A Time” it reminded me that it’s key to think about weight loss that way.

one pound at time

It’s so easy to become defeated when your weight loss goal is a large number.  Personally when I started this journey in September I was 207 and now am 184.  Some days I feel so proud of myself and some days I feel like a failure because I haven’t lost more.  I know the key to any weight loss success is how we think about it.  Our mind can really help us to create a more positive successful journey.  I am a big believer in the power of thought.  What we think and focus on; our body will help to create.  If we are focused on how we are failing than success is going to remain out of reach.  However if we celebrate every pound lost, it fuels more success.

thinkOn our website www.theweightrace.com we try to encourage, motivate and reward weight loss.  We are re-launching an update soon with some cool new features.  Hope you can join us and be a part of our journey.

Autumn A Time To Turn

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I thought of so many things when I was preparing to write this piece on Autumn and the changes that come with it.  I thought , “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone”.  You know because it seems the time of year when the air chills a bit and you just want to get in and cozy up in the house, watch a movie, make popcorn and eat on the sofa.  It is a bit harder to make myself go for a walk, a simple walk.

Peltzer Farm located in Temecula, CA.

Peltzer Farm located in Temecula, CA.

Then it seemed a better idea with, “Explore Something New”.  This would make it more appealing to get out and breath the fresh air, if only we took a new path.  Perhaps a path to the car and the beach, a park, a boat ride in the harbor or a walk out on the jetty to watch the fishers cast their lines out and bring in the wiggly, squirming, fish.  This felt like an earthly joy and the right way to go,  hmm… but lacking, missing something.

Well the thing that is missing is that, we people, that are challenged with our weight, are about to come face to face with a mountain of food!  Things that trigger our happy, ecstasy button, because our mind is programmed to identify food with comfort and happiness.  Visions of pumpkin and pecan pie are prancing around out there.  Ooh and the chocolate and pumpkin cheese cake, what more can I say.  Well I can say no!  I can say, I am not going to do this to myself.  No mashed potatoes and gravy, no candied yams with the little marshmallows on top.  No, no, no!  I will have some of that turkey and green bean casserole though.   Autumn, the harvest is in.  The top soiled turned, did yield a good crop.  The leaves turn colors and the season does change.  I am going to try my best to change too.

When we all hold hands in prayer before dinner, let’s think, not just of the family around us, but of families everywhere.  Thinking of you and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I am going to try and make up a recipe, a sugarless dessert that is healthy.  It will be a surprise!  I’ll let you know how it goes on theweightrace.com!

Many thanks to embryonic soul at YouTube whose video was shared here.

The Secret of Cooking Small

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One of the things I always have found challenging is to stop eating when I love the food.  My habits have passed on to my daughter and she too eats past the point of being full simply because it’s so good.  It’s not every food that gets to her, but pasta will make her go back for seconds time and again.  Especially macaroni and cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese in a bowlLooking at this photo, I think everyone can agree it’s a huge portion.  Often though many of us will eat it, simply because it’s there.  One thing I have initiated in my home is that when cooking for my daughter or me I only make enough food for one right sized portion.  I make sure there is none available for seconds.  I have other healthy choices if she says she is still hungry.  Most of the time she ends up saying no, she just wanted more pasta.  This small change is making a big impact.  I know it means cooking more often as there are no left overs to reheat, but in taking away temptation to overeat, it’s worth it!

Here are some benefits regarding eating smaller portions I found on Fitday.

Decreased Calorie Intake

One of the most important reasons that you should eat small portions is that by doing so, you are decreasing the number of calories you are putting in your body each day, thereby reducing your chances of developing obesity. While you may believe that it doesn’t matter how many or what size meals you eat, but rather the total amount of food you eat each day that contributes to obesity, research has actually found that people who eat only two to three large meals per day are much more likely to become overweight than those who eat more frequent, smaller meals.

Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

Eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day will also help to maintain constant blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar helps to give you energy throughout the day. Therefore, a low blood sugar makes you feel tired, sluggish and slow. Each time you eat, your body releases blood sugar from the food. If you eat small meals frequently, you will receive a steady stream of blood sugar, thereby preventing blood sugar “crashes.” In contrast, if you eat larger portions only once or twice per day, your blood sugar will spike much higher after eating these meals, and similarly will crash a short while later. This can be especially dangerous to people who suffer from diabetes or other insulin-related conditions.

Prevent Metabolism Crash

Another reason why it is important to eat small portions more frequently is that by doing so, you will help to keep your metabolism running strong. Your metabolism is a function of your body that works to digest food. By eating frequently, your metabolism will be working regularly, and therefore will maintain its ability to do work. In contrast, when you eat large meals at a more infrequent rate, your metabolism experiences large chunks of time when it is not active. When this happens, your metabolism begins to the slow the pace at which it works. This can result in substantial weight gain, and many potentially even lead to the development of obesity.

Prevent Nutrition Imbalances

Eating small portions several times per day will help to prevent nutritional imbalances. Research has found that people who eat several different meals through the day tend to eat different things at each meal, thereby getting a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, fiber, lean meats and dairy products.

If you like the post, please forward or click “like” button.  Also, please follow our blog and if you haven’t joined out site yet, check out The Weight Race. A fun weight loss community where we motivate members via rewards and badges for losing weight and making healthy choices.  JOIN NOW www.theweightrace.com

A Soy By Any Other Name

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Interestingly enough, I only recently became aware of the soy controversy.   Since in my health history I have had thyroid cancer a few times (yes – it does actually come back folks) and have been suffering from chronic sluggishness for years- you’d think the topic of soy and it’s ill effects would have crossed my mind.

There are tons of site’s out there that can give some specific information on the good, the bad and the ugly of soy.  Did you know that soy is one of the most genetically modified foods we will find on the grocery shelf?  I don’t know about you, but genetic mutations in the food I buy freaks me out.   The thing I have found fascinating is how many products have soybean oil-  check your labels, it’s everywhere!

no soyBelow is some great information from Marks Daily Apple about soy.

Soy and Processing

Soy really needs some form of preparation before it’s safe to eat, and that in and of itself gives me pause. That said, minimally processed soy forms like fermented tempeh and miso as well as edamame seem like preferable options.

Soy processing isn’t a very comforting picture with acid washing and neutralization solutions, large and leaching aluminum tanks, and high temperature heating (rarely a good thing in the food world). And this doesn’t take into account the artificial flavorings, including MSG, that are oftentimes added to improve flavor. (Hmmm. When we say healthy tastes great, we kind of mean a food itself and not all the chemical crap added to it. No?) Finally, it’s vital to go organic when it comes to soy. Not only is it nearly all genetically modified, it has one of the highest pesticide contamination levels of any crop.

Soy and Cancer
We’re talking mostly about breast cancer here. The culprit in question is the group of soy isoflavones, plant hormones that mimics estrogen in the body. Some research has shown that isolated isoflavones, a.k.a. phytoestrogens, contribute to the growth of tumors in the breast, endometrium and uterus.

It essentially comes back to the whole foods question. The research has focused on the isolated isoflavones, particularly genistein, the most active of the soy isoflavones that activates cellular estrogen receptors, including those in breast tumors. Noted experts in the field have cautioned that research with isolated soy compounds does not necessarily carry over well to the effect of the whole food, even minimally processed soy flour. In other words, soy is healthier than the sum of its parts. Other studies have shown that the mix of phytoestrogens in soy, when taken together in whole soy foods, protect estrogen receptors and may partly shield them from the estrogen we take in with meat and dairy consumption (yup, bovine hormones even in organic). They can also possibly reduce the impact of the unequivocally insidious “xenoestrogens” found in chemical pollutants.

Add to this picture the analysis of cultural diet and disease trends. Though Japanese women regularly eat significant portions of soy (in forms like tempeh, edamame, miso and tofu), they have only 1/5 of the breast cancer rate that Western women.

Soy and Thyroid Function
Researchers are in general agreement that people with previously diagnosed hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) should not take soy supplements. There’s not as much agreement, however, about soy and diet. The isoflavones in soy inhibit thyroid peroxidase, which produces T3 and T4, which can make a bad situation worse for those with diagnosed hypothyroidism or, as some suggest, help cause hypothyroidism to begin with.

It’s also important to note that soy isn’t the only food that has goitrogenic effects. Other foods in this category include (but aren’t limited to) cruciferous vegetables, corn and lima beans.

Soy and Mineral Absorption
Soybeans are high in phytic acid, which is known to block the body’s absorption of minerals such as calcium, zinc magnesium and iron. (Pertinent Insertion: grain-based diets have been shown to do the same thing.) Nonetheless, soybeans have the highest level of phytates. Fermentation is known to substantially reduce phytate levels, which is why you often hear that fermented soy forms are preferable. Other sources note that a meat or fish accompaniment to soy will reduce the effects of the phytates.

Soy and the Environment

I try to think about earth consciousness when I shop as well-  from another site, Wellness Mama I learned that soy actually is detrimental to the land.  Here’s some info on that-

In addition to being harmful to our bodies, soy production is harmful to the planet and to livestock who eat it as well. Almost all soybeans grown today are genetically modified and “Round-up ready.” They contain a gene that allows them to be directly sprayed with pesticides without dying. There is some evidence that this gene can mutate and create a pesticide-like toxin in the body.

This mutation means that soybeans can be (and are) sprayed with large amounts of pesticides and herbicides during their cultivation. In addition, soybeans strip the soil of many nutrients, leaving soil depleted. (On a personal note, I live in an area where soybeans are grown, and have witnessed first hand how much the soybeans are sprayed during their growth and how harmful these chemicals are to other plants and vegetation)

Animals who are fed soy can suffer many of the same health consequences as people who consume too much soy, and these harmful properties are then passed on in their meat.

Hope I was able to bring some information to you on this topic.  Please follow our blog and if you haven’t joined out site yet, check out The Weight Race.

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What do you mean grains are unhealthy?

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I have started looking more and more into the Paleo way of eating and the Blueprint that guides it’s principles.  One thing I was really shocked to learn is all the information on downsides of grains on our overall health.  Lately when I eat pasta and cereal (which I love) I do have to admit it makes me feel bad.  I typically will feel bloated and even sick to stomach sometimes.

There are so many books now about this way of living, where to begin?

paleo pyramidI found a resource I really love, called Marks Daily Apple.  Posting an article from there below on grains.  I found it really insightful and wanted to share.

Why Grains Are Unhealthy

Apart from maintaining social conventions in certain situations and obtaining cheap sugar calories, there is absolutely no reason to eat grains. Believe me – I’ve searched far and wide and asked everyone I can for just one good reason to eat cereal grains, but no one can do it. They may have answers, but they just aren’t good enough. For fun, though, let’s see take a look at some of the assertions:

“You need the fiber!”

Okay, for one: no, I don’t. If you’re referring to its oft-touted ability to move things along in the inner sanctum, fiber has some unintended consequences. A few years back, scientists found that high-fiber foods “bang up against the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, rupturing their outer covering” which “increases the level of lubricating mucus.” Err, that sounds positively awful. Banging and tearing? Rupturing? These are not the words I like to hear. But wait! The study’s authors say, “It’s a good thing.” Fantastic! So when all those sticks and twigs rub up against my fleshy interior and literally rupture my intestinal lining, I’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s all part of the plan, right?

Somehow, I’m not convinced that a massive daily infusion of insoluble grain fiber is all that essential. And that “lubricating mucus” sounds an awful like the mucus people with irritable bowel syndrome complain about. From personal experience I can tell you that once I completed my exodus from grains, the IBS completely stopped. If you’re not yet convinced on the fiber issue I’ll refer you to Konstantin Monastyrsky’s Fiber Menace. Anyway, there’s plenty of fiber in the vegetables and fruit I eat. Which takes me to the next claim:

“You need the vitamins and minerals!”

You got me. I do need vitamins and minerals, like B1 and B2, magnesium and iron, zinc and potassium. But do I need to obtain them by eating a carb-heavy, bulky grain? No, no I don’t. You show me a serving of “healthy whole grains” that can compete – nutrient, vitamin, and mineral-wise – with a Big Ass Salad. What’s that? Can’t do it? Thought so.

“But it forms the foundation of the governmental food pyramid!”

You know, I should have just started the entire post with this one. I could have saved my fingers the trouble of typing and your eyes the trouble of reading. Governmental endorsements are not points in your favor, grain-eater; they are strikes against you. An appeal to authority (unless that “authority” is actually a preponderance of scientific evidence, of course) does not an effective argument make. Conventional Wisdom requires consistent, steady dissection and criticism if it is to be of any value.

There’s a reason grains are first and foremost on the list of foods to avoid when following the Primal Blueprint: they are completely and utterly pointless in the context of a healthy diet. In fact, if your average unhealthy person were to ask for the top three things to avoid in order to get healthy, I would tell them to stop smoking, to stop drinking their calories (as soda or juice), and to stop eating grains. Period. Full stop. They really are that bad.

I’ve mentioned this time and again, but the fundamental problem with grains is that they are a distinctly Neolithic food that the human animal has yet to adapt to consuming. In fact, cereal grains figured prominently in the commencement of the New Stone Age; grains were right there on the forefront of the agricultural revolution. Hell, they were the agricultural revolution – einkorn wheat, emmer, millet, and spelt formed the backbone of Neolithic farming. They could be stored for months at a time, they were easy enough to grow in massive enough quantities to support a burgeoning population, and they promoted the construction of permanent settlements. Oh, and they were easily hoarded, meaning they were probably an early form of currency (and, by extension, a potential source of income inequality). And here’s the kicker: they were harsh, tough things that probably didn’t even taste very good. It also took a ton of work just to make them edible, thanks to their toxic anti-nutrients.

Toxic anti-nutrients? Do tell.

Living things generally do not want to be consumed by other living things. Being digested, for the most part, tends to interrupt survival, procreation, propagation of the species – you know, standard stuff that fauna and flora consider pretty important. To avoid said consumption, living things employ various self defense mechanisms. Rabbits, for example, with their massive ears, considerable fast-twitch muscle fibers, and nasty claws, can usually hear a predator coming, outrun (out-hop?) nearly anything, and (in a pinch) slash a tender belly to shreds. Blue whales are too big to fit into your mouth, while porcupines are walking reverse pincushions. Point is, animals have active defense mechanisms. They run, fight, jump, climb, fly, sting, bite, and even appeal to our emotions (if you’ve ever seen a puppy beg for a treat with sad eyes, you know that isn’t just accidental cuteness) in order to survive. All the while, predators are constantly evolving and generating adaptations.

Plants, though, are passive organisms without the ability to move, think, and react (for the most part). They must employ different tactics to ensure propagation, and they generally have to rely on outside forces to spread their seed. And so various methods are “devised” to dissuade consumption long enough for the seed to get to where it’s going. Nuts have those tough shells, and grains have the toxic anti-nutrients, lectins, gluten, and phytates. (Of course there are some obvious exceptions. Fruits are tasty, nutritious, and delicious so that animals will eat them whole and poop out the seeds, preferably into some fertile soil. The seed stays intact throughout the digestive process; it is indigestible by design. No seed “wants” to be digested, because this would defeat the purpose. They “want” to be swallowed, or borne by the wind, or carried by a bee to the next flower, but they do not want to be digested.)

Some animals are clearly adapted to grain consumption. Birds, rodents, and some insects can deal with the anti-nutrients. Humans, however, cannot. Perhaps if grains represented a significant portion of our ancestral dietary history, things might be a bit different. Some of us can digest dairy, and we’ve got the amylase enzyme present in our saliva to break down starches if need be, but we simply do not have the wiring necessary to mitigate the harmful effects of lectins, gluten, and phytate.

Lectins are bad. They bind to insulin receptors, attack the stomach lining of insects, bind to human intestinal lining, and they seemingly cause leptin resistance. And leptin resistance predicts a “worsening of the features of the metabolic syndrome independently of obesity”. Fun stuff, huh?

Gluten might be even worse. Gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley, is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. Around 1% of the population are celiacs, people who are completely and utterly intolerant of any gluten. In celiacs, any gluten in the diet can be disastrous. We’re talking compromised calcium and vitamin D3 levels, hyperparathyroidism, bone defects. Really terrible stuff. And it gets worse: just because you’re not celiac doesn’t mean you aren’t susceptible to the ravages of gluten. As Stephan highlights, one study showed that 29% of asymptomatic (read: not celiac) people nonetheless tested positive for anti-gliadin IgA in their stool. Anti-gliadin IgA is an antibody produced by the gut, and it remains there until it’s dispatched to ward off gliadin – a primary component of gluten. Basically, the only reason anti-gliadin IgA ends up in your stool is because your body sensed an impending threat – gluten. If gluten poses no threat, the anti-gliadin IgA stays in your gut. And to think, most Americans eat this stuff on a daily basis.

Phytates are a problem, too, because they make minerals bio-unavailable (so much for all those healthy vitamins and minerals we need from whole grains!), thus rendering null and void the last, remaining argument for cereal grain consumption.

What, then, is the point to all this grain madness? Is there a good reason for anyone (with access to meat, fruit, and vegetables, that is) to rely on cereal grains for a significant portion of their caloric intake?

The answer is unequivocally, undeniably no. We do not need grains to survive, let alone thrive. In fact, they are naturally selected to ward off pests, whether they be insects or hominids. I suggest we take the hint and stop eating them.

And with that, I’m done. I don’t think I could eat another bite.

Thanks to Mark’s research and information!

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Ciao,

Summer