Hal's Hat

Hal's Hat

Friday, March 22, 2013

Insulin, carbs, my drama!

The theme for this month, Miss March, is cleaning up my act. My dad would like it- I've started doing headstands, early in the morning! He did yoga basically every single day. He'd sit zazen (Zen Buddhist meditation) and do forward bends, plow, push ups and head stands. He also jogged, ten minutes or so, no big deal.
I'm also on a nutrition journey that is very interesting. My dude and I are off simple carbs- still eating fruits and a few complex carbs here and there (oats, quinoa), definitely starchy vegetables. But I feel very different already. Enjoying kale smoothies with a bit of fruit and yogurt too. Lots of fat, protein, vegetables..... Don't get me wrong, I'm not into deprivation or being hungry. I'm just working to rearrange the cravings and hungry. The science behind this goes a little something like this:
Eat carbohydrates, sugar (even fruit) and your body produces insulin. Insulin is a fat storage hormone. It tells your organs (liver especially) to hold onto the fat, don't use it! Bodily organs, like the thryroid, get very tired from all that insulin. Sometimes, when there isn't enough protein in your blood, your adrenals will start to produce cortisol. You know that shaky energy? That fight or flight energy? That's cortisol. You shouldn't be existing on cortisol. Adrenal exhaustion... the stories I could tell. At one point, my cortisol production was so totally off that I was spiking cortisol at midnight (right when baby would wake to feed). I was screwed up- I went back to my meditation practice and began taking a supplement call Phosphytidyl Serine for a short time. I'd take it at 8:00 pm and it would limit my cortisol production during sleep time. It was a perfect, "get me through a hard patch" helper.
Anyway,when get your body off the insulin train, eat vegetable and protein, your body produces glucagon instead of insulin. This is a fat burning hormone. It tells your liver: Hey, eat up all that fat in there and get the fat in the blood stream utilized! STAT! We want a glucagon ratio that is HIGHER than insulin. Clearly. Natural food and eating in a natural pattern will do that.

So, it looks like I'm eating Paleo. Shrug, grimace, yuck. I really have resisted fads or what I perceive to be fad diets because I am not a joiner. I don't like dietary changes that are based on perception  (vs. science) and that might actually be veiled "thinspiration". I've been continually grossed about by the Paleo crowd because I think they seem like zealots who want to be thin but cloak it with nutrition. I also really dislike diets that replace real food with bars and pretend food made with a wrapper. But, I'm trying this because there is physical science telling me how my body is becoming estrogen-dominant (thus putting on subtle amounts of fat on the thighs, hips area). Estrogen dominance is a pre-cursor to estrogen triggered cancers, Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic syndromes of the Typical American Diet (TAD).

That said- I'm not judging you for eating all that carb loaded goodness. (What's up last night's dinner: spanikopita and MAC N CHEESE. *sigh)  It's been hard and isn't over yet- getting over that emotional hurdle of expecting breakfast to include breads. But it can and is really, really good. And I've not lost any weight, with all my exercise, so I can assure you that I'm not doing this to be something other than what I am (well more muscle is in my plans, MORE MUSCLE!). So if your body still works great, SALUT! Mine just stopped feeling and looking so great. And I have to part with pizza, traditional pizza, for awhile. As I said someplace else, the idea is to reset the receptors in my body (in all of those organs- THYROID) and let them get back to good shape. Then, it's like being a kid again. I eat a lot of good for me stuff, indulge some, feel a bit yummy then yucky, then make better choices. And not suffer a bunch of consequences. THIS is why "kids can eat anything". Well, no they can't. But they are fresher and younger- don't do them a disservice and teach them only to eat the shitty stuff. That's your Type 2 diabetic youngster right there. What we all need to do is remove weight and fat from the judgmental analysis- make it about nutrition. Everything else will follow- some people are little, some big, fat is beautiful. Type 2 diabetes is painful and sick. Sick isn't anyone's goal. Right? So let's allow ourselves beer and bread and then have a hangover and eat our vegetables and move around and feel good. Right?

On another note- I'm presenting at the Kansas City Lawn and Garden show!  I'm giving people some tips on thematic gardens- like Japanese, xeric, meadow, woodland, etc. It's both didactic and supportive! A gentle reminder to remember to do what you do well and leave the rest to professionals. Hope to see some of you there!

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