Friday, August 12, 2016
If you’re like us, you’ve got a full-blown case of Olympic fever. That’s why we were so excited to talk to Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders, who is now in Rio reporting on the latest news (just try to keep from crying when you watch her get emotional commenting on Simone Manuel’s historic gold medal.)
Sanders emerged from the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona as the most decorated U.S. swimmer and ever since, she’s been a valuable advocate for fitness and health issues. When we caught up with Sanders at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “Building a Healthier America” Summit, we were thrilled at the chance to pick her Olympian brain about how she stays fit and inspired, eats well and gets her kids to eat healthy too.
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It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
I have been an avid reader for about three years now.
I have struggled with my weight since I was about 13 years old. I suppose drinking six to twelve cokes a day didn’t help. My heaviest known weight was 240 pounds. Most big people don’t go looking for a scale. I know I was that big because that was when I was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic. Of course, even that didn’t stop the coke habit because I was in denial. It took several more years of losing 30 pounds, and then finding it again, to get really serious. Even then, the path is never a straight line.
Three years ago July, I found an online nutrition coaching program—Precision Nutrition, a year long habit based program. At the same time, my wife told me that an ex-colleague of ours, who at 50 was in fantastic shape, was doing CrossFit and Paleo. I had never heard of either one. When I Googled Paleo I found Mark’s website.
Even doing the year long coaching program, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be with my health. While I did remove all processed foods, especially Coke, I still was about 190 pounds. I am 5’10”. I have done lots of reading and research. I learned about leptin from Dr. Jack Kruse. I started to understand how chronic inflammation due to insulin resistance was the root cause of my problems. I also found Dr. Jason Fung—a huge advocate of fasting. While I had lots of information, putting it into practice is always the hard part.
On February 7 of this year, I had elbow surgery for a repetitive motion injury from 25+ years of IT work. I knew that Naproxin wreaked havoc on my system, but post surgery you need something to get you through. Eight weeks ago I had a physical. My A1c was 6.6, which is high for me. I was up to 197 pounds and was not happy about it. I decided to do a n=1 experiment where I would utilize fasting and real food. I decided to have coffee in the morning and eat one meal a day for eight weeks. I am now down to 175. My blood glucose has normalized. I am in ketosis and feel great. I have plenty of energy to take on whatever sounds good.
I move a lot at a slow pace. A year ago I got a Varidesk and ditched my chair. I have been standing while working for a year now. If I can do this—anyone can. I also signed up for the Primal Health Coach Program the first day it was available. I am proud top say I am number 93.
Thanks for everything you have done for me,
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Where our diets go wrong
When it comes to the healthfulness of Americans’ diets, something’s not adding up. Even though more than 80 percent of us don’t eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, many of us overdo it with refined grains and sugar, and 36 percent of us are obese, 75 percent of us claim our diets are healthy, NPR reports, citing a recent national poll it co-conducted. What gives? Experts tell NPR it could be a matter of portion size — that we’re overeating foods that are healthy when consumed in moderation. Another factor in the discrepancy might be that we’re eating foods — like sugar-loaded granola bars — that we think are healthy, perhaps because they are marketed to us that way, but that really are not so good for us.
How to curb cravings
Even as you try to eat healthier, cravings for sweets can be hard to withstand — especially because, dietitian Jae Berman points out in the Washington Post, sugar is “everywhere” and in everything from cereals to salad dressings to packaged meats. Still, Berman notes, there are things we can do to overcome our hankerings for sugar. If your craving is due to “nutritional need” (i.e., your body needs the calories), try to eat healthy foods instead, along with a glass of water. “If you hydrated properly, the cravings might subside,” Berman says. If it’s a matter of “habit,” she suggests, “Consider savory or salty to get your brain and taste buds out of that sweet habit.” Or if the sweet craving is being triggered by emotions, try to do something else that makes you feel better — such as getting some sleep, talking to a friend, going for a walk or listening to some good music. Worth a try!
Why doctors can help
Can our doctors do more to help us eat well, which can in turn help stave off chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity? The Washington Post notes that there’s a growing movement for doctors to get more nutrition training so that they can use that knowledge to improve health care. One example of this trend: Dr. Timothy Harlan has launched a “culinary medicine” program at the Tulane University School of Medicine, installing a kitchen in which medical students learn about cooking and nutrition so they can pass that information along to their patients. “We’re not trying to turn physicians into dietitians,” Harlan told the Post. “But many people don’t get to see a dietitian as easily as a doctor. So the physician should have some basic nutrition knowledge.” Makes sense.
Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.
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