Monday, August 28, 2017

LEAP Diet Update

Now that it’s been about 4 months since I went through the LEAP Diet protocol, I wanted to give you guys a little update. I made it through all five phases of the diet without any major issues. It took me about a month to test all of the foods, and I still feel really good, GI-wise.

Once I finished the program, I started to eat pretty normally. It was summer, and I was having a lot of fun, so I wasn’t super strict about my diet, but I kept in mind the foods/chemicals that I had sensitivities to and just didn’t overdo it. Even now, I still avoid the “red” foods (high sensitivity) on my list and limit the “yellow” (sensitivity) ones as much as possible. (It’s not like I never, ever have these things; I just enjoy them on occassion.) I definitely notice some GI distress when I’m too lax with my choices, but, now, with this diet program, it’s easy to get back on track. Now, I actually know what foods give me issues.

The best part about doing the LEAP Diet was that it finally made sense of my food sensitivities. As you guys know, I tried SO MANY elimination diets over the years with zero success. I would literally follow diets to a T, but I would never get any better, and, often times, I’d get so stressed out over the restrictions and (non)results, I’d make symptoms worse. Ugh, those were not fun times in my life, but the LEAP diet truly pinpointed my food sensitives once and for all. For instance, a lot of the foods that I thought were “safe” on those diets, including many staples in the Paleo world, which I followed for years, are ones that I have sensitivities to. (I’m not knocking the Paleo diet – I just finally realized why it never worked for me.) Same goes for a number of foods popular in the gluten-free category. All that time, I thought I was doing myself a favor by not eating gluten and seeking alternatives, but, surprise, according to my LEAP results, I’m actually not sensitive to gluten – although, wheat is still an issue for me. Basically, I’m pretty sure this means I can drink Guinness, right? 🙂

What I realized by completing this protocol is that diet and food sensitivities really, truly comes down to figuring out what works best for you. And, just as important, is not blindly accepting that a food/specific diet is healthy just because it’s trendy or worked for someone else. I definitely fell into this trap at times, and I actually think it made symptoms worse. I wish had taken this test years ago because it would have saved me so much time, energy, money, and anguish. I even wonder if it could have helped me avoid biologics all together. I have no plans to go off Entyvio anytime soon, but it’s an interesting thought.


Just recently, I have noticed quite a reduction in my body’s overall inflammation, likely because of the LEAP diet. My bloodwork results, from just a couple of weeks ago, said that my Sed Rate and CRP numbers were the lowest they’ve been in years (I actually cried when I saw them), and my transition off the pill has been (*knock on wood*) crazy-easy (blog post coming soon). Kelli thinks that all of the work I did with the LEAP protocol to bring down inflammation has actually made quite a difference – and I think she’s right! 🙂 I also think cleaning up my beauty routine and eliminating random chemicals from my life has helped as well.

So, that’s my update. I plan to stick to the diet… well, I guess, forever and just limit the foods/chemicals that I have sensitivities to. Overall, things went really well for me, so, obviously, I’m a huge proponent of the LEAP diet. If you’re interested in doing the test, contact Kelli over at Hungry Hobby. She’ll take good care of you. I hope this protocol works for you as well as it did for me!

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Dear Mark: Grok’s Terrible Genes; Fasting, Starvation, and Metabolism

Home » Diet & Nutrition

August 28, 2017

Dear Mark: Grok’s Terrible Genes; Fasting, Starvation, and Metabolism

By Mark Sisson


Neanderthal skullFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions from readers. The first one concerns a study I linked to in this week’s Weekend Link Love. It appears to suggest that ancient humans had worse genes than modern humans have, that they were at greater risk for many different disorders and diseases. How can this be? Last but not least, Pierre expresses skepticism at the notion of fasting or starvation causing metabolic slowdowns. I agree, but only to a point, and I explain why.

Let’s go:

Mark, what’s your take on the ancient human gene study you mentioned in weekend link love today? This one:

I found it really interesting.


The paper has a lot going on.

First, we find that the genetic disease load has not been increasing in modern humans. Many have proposed the opposite: That the rise of modern medicine and technology has relaxed the selective pressures of everyday living and allowed genetically “unfit” people to survive and reproduce, thereby increasing the rate of deleterious mutations. This paper seems to contradict that.

We find that the genetic load in certain disease categories was higher in ancient humans. Looking at individual samples, we find that the Altai Neaderthal and Otzk the Iceman had some issues. The Neanderthal had a higher genetic risk for neurological disease, immune issues, cancers, gut disorders, and metabolic disorders. The Iceman had a higher genetic risk for cardiovascular, immune, gut, and metabolic disorders.

There are several ways to interpret the results. The most common interpretation will probably be that the genetic disease load was greater in ancient humans because they weren’t living long enough for the diseases to take root and impact reproductive fitness. I think that’s part of it, but my take is different.

Maybe ancient humans carry more genes that in modern environments increase risk of diseases, but in ancestral environments were neutral or even increased fitness. Heart disease wasn’t an issue because he wasn’t chowing down on packaged cupcakes, Panda Express, and Pepsi. 

If you transported Otzi the Iceman or the Altai Neanderthal to the present day, set them up with an apartment on the Las Vegas Strip with neon signs blaring into their room at all hours of the night and ensured they spent their days hanging out at the slots and pigging out on the buffets, they’d be fat, diabetic, and feeble more quickly than most modern humans in the same position.

This is why traditional people get hit so hard by modernity. It’s perhaps why the Pacific Island nations are among the fattest in the world. It’s why native peoples all over the world, when influenced by industrial food cultures and modern sedentary lifestyles, tend to be fatter and sicker than the broader population of their countries, whether it’s Canada, the US, or Australia.

Consider the genetic predisposition to alcoholism. It’s far higher in American Indians than Americans of European descent due to a lack of protective genetic factors and higher incidence of deleterious genetic factors (and, of course, environmental factors). If you dug up some American Indian graves from the 1400s and ran DNA tests on the remains, they’d show up as having a high risk of alcohol dependence. But back then, when they weren’t exposed to alcohol, those “deleterious” genes weren’t actually deleterious. 

I suspect the same thing applies to the Neanderthal and Otzi. They had the genes for cardiovascular disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Media headlines say “Otzi had heart disease.” I’d say “Otzi had the genetic predisposition that increases heart disease risk in modern people living in modern environments.”

What’s really fun to think about is if these “deleterious” genetic variants offered protective or beneficial effects in other areas. What do you think?

Next, Pierre comments:

Not sure about the statement that metabolism slows down when you are starving. That doesn’t really square with my fasting results and it doesn’t make sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Seems that slowing down when you need to chase down some food would lead to your extinction.

I agree with your thinking. Fasting as most people practice it does not slow the metabolic rate. It takes at least 3 days of pure fasting for minor slowdowns to the metabolic rate to occur. Some studies even find that short-term fasting (48 hours) boosts metabolic rate by almost 4%. Others find similar results. This jibes with your results and hypothesis—”slowing down when you need to chase down some food would lead to your extinction.” It seems you’ve got about 3 days of full (or even extra) energy to acquire food before energy starts dropping. That should be plenty.

At some point, though, things break down. It doesn’t make sense from an evolutionary standpoint for humans to die when a European cave bear eats their face, since that leads to the human’s extinction, but die they do. There’s only so much the body can handle. Evolution can’t contend with a giant bear mouth chomping down on your head, nor can it contend well with a lack of food for six days straight. You just run out of juice.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading. Take care, and be sure to add your own comments, questions, and answers down below!

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from Mark's Daily Apple

Our Sunday Adventures – Marshfield Fair

Hi, friends! Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours went by too fast, but I’m ready to start the week. How about you?

Sunday morning kicked off promptly at 7:01 AM when Quinn’s alarm clock went off. After that, he and Dada watched TV downstairs while Murphy and I headed out for a walk.

The pug and I walked for about 30 minutes before heading home. I was pretty hungry by then, so I made breakfast for the boys and then broke into my overnight pumpkin seed + protein powder oats. And, of course, I added a big scoop of peanut butter to the mix.

After breakfast, Mal met up with one of his friends to spend the day doing yard work together. They both had big projects that they needed help with, so they decided to team up and take turns in each other’s yards. I really wanted to do some sort of workout since I didn’t fit too many in last week, so I mentioned running with the jogging stroller to Quinn. I wasn’t sure if he’d go for it, but he asked if he could bring the iPad and it sounded like a great idea to me. I mean, we both would get what we wanted! 🙂 #runhappy

I ended up running 2 miles with the stroller and completing a total of 90 walking lunges, 45 push-ups, and 45 triceps dips. I pretty much stopped every half a mile or so to do a set (30, 15, 15).

Back at home, I took a quick shower and got ready to head out for some morning adventures with Quinn. Our first stop: Starbucks drive-thru. Unfortunately, when I finally received my order, it was basically a cup full of cream. Whomp whomp. I thought about sending it back, but we had already waited a really long time and the line was super long, so I just sucked it up and drank it.

After that, we drove straight to Hornstra Farms to visit the cows.

We looked for Quinn’s cat friend, but never found him. Bummer. Before we left, we picked out some fresh corn for dinner from the farm store.

Our next stop was Jacobs Pond.

We explored the walking trails in the woods and played hide-and-seek for a while.

We also headed down to the water to check out the people fishing off the dock.

Our final stop was at CVS to grab a few items, including new toothpaste for Quinn, which he was so excited about. Our local CVS has a small pond with a bunch of geese outside, so we spent quite awhile hanging out with them. Quinn loved that they followed him back-and-forth along the fence, and we even saying them a few songs while they squawked back at us.

It was lunchtime when we arrived home, so I made us some lunch while simultaneously getting ahead on my food prep for the week.

After Quinn and I finished eating lunch, I put him down for a nap. He said he was tired and went right to sleep after I read him one book.

I headed downstairs with my laptop to work outside on the back porch. It was a beautiful day, and I just couldn’t sit inside. A couple of hours went by, and I started to feel a little snack-y, so I broke out some Harvest Snaps… and, well, finished off the bag. They were just so good!

Quinn slept until nearly 4:00 PM. When he woke up, we quickly got ourselves together to meet some friends at the Marshfield Fair. I wasn’t sure what our plan was for dinner, so I grabbed a bunch of snacks for Quinn and 3 Peanut Butter Protein Balls for me to eat on the road.

We met some friends at the Marshfield Fair. It was both of our first times there and we were so impressed. There was so much to see and do – even for little kids.

The kiddos had a great time, and I can only imagine how much more fun it will be when they’re a bit older. Quinn even won a fidget spinner, which, of course, he’s now obsessed with! 🙂

After the fair, we were all starving, so we stopped by Cask ‘n Flagon for dinner. I got a turkey burger with sweet potato fries and a glass of wine. It was the perfect way to finish off an awesome day!

Question of the Day

How was your Sunday? Do anything fun? 

What snack are you loving lately?


The post Our Sunday Adventures – Marshfield Fair appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Sweet Summertime Weekend

^^ Boy wouldn’t put his head in the water at the beginning of the summer, and now he’s a fish! We have had such a fun time at the pool all summer  🙂

On Friday, Mazen and I had a date at Rev Soup for lunch. I got a side salad and broc and cheese soup.

And he had a pimento cheese grilled cheese with arugula inside ; )

Park playin’ Friday afternoon:

On Friday night, Thomas and I went to Public Fish & Oyster. Look at that giant one on the right! The Prince Edward Island oysters were our faves.

We also shared some mussels and the best Belgian double-fried frites ever.

And we shared soft shell crabs and a warm capresé to finish. Soft shell crabs are delicious, but they do creep me out when I eat them. There is some small part of my brain that says, “This is too much like a spider!”

Later that evening we joined some friends for a long game of Settlers of Catan! This IPA from Three Notch’d is one of the best I’ve ever had. I think it’s because it has low bitterness and is unfiltered. (It’s also strong!)

On Saturday morning Thomas made us pancakes from scratch! They tasted like biscuits.

I took Gus for a long walk, picked Mazen up from Matt’s on his bike, and we went to the grocery store.

Triple family late pizza lunch (plus an arugula salad).

We had some quiet time at home before packing up and heading to the pool for some live music.

T made us a late night Blue Apron dinner while I tucked Mazen into bed. Steaks with mashed potatoes and green beans!

Sunday was filled with soccer and even more swimming as we celebrated our friends’ birthdays at the pool!

Back to school this week!

The post Sweet Summertime Weekend appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food

Clean Eating Mexican Style Chicken Salad Recipe

This recipe was born of leftovers in my fridge. I try really hard not to waste food, so when the leftovers build up, I try to create something new with them.

That being said, you don’t HAVE to use… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry