Friday, September 8, 2017

Diet 101: the Sirtfood Diet

Developed by two UK-based men with master’s degrees in nutritional medicine, the diet has become very popular among celebrities and athletes in the UK. Both Pippa Middleton and Adele are rumored to have followed this plan. Like many other diets, the Sirtfood Diet touts effective and sustained weight loss, incredible energy and glowing health. But is the Sirtfood Diet another diet fad, or is there any truth to its claims?

 

About the Diet

The plan claims that eating certain foods will activate your “skinny gene” pathway and have you losing seven pounds in seven days. Foods like kale, dark chocolate, and wine contain a natural chemical called polyphenols that mimic the effects of exercise and fasting. Strawberries, red onions, cinnamon, and turmeric are also powerful sirtfoods. These foods will trigger the sirtuin pathway to help trigger weight loss.  The science sounds enticing, but in reality there’s little research to back up these claims. Plus, the promised rate of weight loss in the first week is rather quick and not in line with the National Institute of Health safe weight loss guidelines of one to two pounds per week.

The diet has two phases:

  • Phase 1 last for seven days. For the first three days, you drink three sirtfood green juices and one meal rich in sirtfoods for a total of 1,000 calories. On days four through seven, you drink two green juices and two meals for a total of 1,500 calories.
  • Phase 2 is a 14-day maintenance plan, although it is designed for your to lose weight steadily (not maintain your current weight). Each day consists of three balanced sirtfood meals and one green juice.

 

After these three weeks, you’re encouraged to continue eating a diet rich in sirtfoods and drinking a green juice daily. You can find several sirtfood cookbooks online and recipes on the sirtfood website. One green juice recipe found on the sirtfood website consists of a combo of kale and other leafy greens, parsley, celery, green apple, ginger, lemon juice and matcha. Buckwheat and lovage are also ingredients that are recommended for use in your green juice. They diet recommends that juices should be made in a juicer, not a blender, so it tastes better.

A day on the sirtfood diet might look like this:

Breakfast: Soy yogurt with mixed berries, chopped walnuts and dark chocolate

Lunch: A sirtfood salad made with kale, parsley, celery, apple, walnuts topped with olive oil mixed with lemon juice and ginger.

Dinner: Stir-fried prawns with kale and buckwheat noodles.

*Plus one sirtfood green juice per day.

 

The Costs

You really need to plan and have access to the recommended ingredients in order to properly follow this diet. You’ll also need to invest in a decent juicer, which can cost you a minimum of $100. Besides the free recipes available on the website, you may need to invest in some of The Sirtfood Diet cookbooks.

Seasonality of ingredients makes it a bit tough to get strawberries and kale certain times of the year. It’s also tough to follow when traveling, at social events and feeding a family with young kids.

The diet itself cuts out numerous food groups and is limiting. Dairy foods, which provide an array of essential nutrients including several that most folks lack, aren’t recommended on the plan. Further, the polyphenol-rich food matcha often contains lead in the tea leaves which is potentially dangerous to your health especially when taken regularly. It also has a strong and bitter flavor, as does 85% dark chocolate, which is also recommended.

The Bottom Line: Polyphenol-rich foods can certainly be included in a weight loss plan, but they aren’t the basis for an entire diet.  You most certainly don’t need wine and dark chocolate every day, plus too much matcha is potentially dangerous.

 

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.



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Little Leafy’s Keto Diet Success Story

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!

When our baby daughter, Leafy, suffered a frightening seizure at home we had no idea what was to come.

When more seizures followed a pattern emerged; blue lights to hospital, assessments, nights in hospital wards, medical tests, fear and exhaustion.

Despite the frightening length and regularity these incidents were diagnosed as Febrile Seizures, caused by temperature spikes from ill health.

We carried on as best we could, juggling caring for our 2-year-old son whilst trying to manage Leafy’s reoccurring long-lasting seizures.

As time went on she endured many more seizures. Her worst time was when chicken pox was shared around locally and she caught the infection. Leafy suffered seizure after seizure in 30-degree heat while covered in hundreds of itchy, angry pox marks. It was a real low for us all. We watched her small body struggle so much and were not able to help her.

Finding Keto

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 9.07.33 AMSomething was clearly not right, so we started researching. We read late into the nights, on the triggers, the seizure syndromes and the treatments and eventually found the Ketogenic diet.

The possibility of an evidence based diet that is effective in controlling seizures through food alone seemed golden! We read up on everything we could on following a keto diet, learning the practicalities of how to follow the diet, the potential side effects and how to sensibly mitigate those.

Starting Keto

When Leafy was diagnosed with epilepsy, aged 2, we took the decision to start her on the Ketogenic diet straight away. Food before medication.

Cropped_Leafie _ Leafy with keto Pizza IMG_0245Within days the diet began to have a hugely positive impact. Her shortest seizures, she was having up to 60 per day, stopped and have not returned. Her longer seizures reduced in length and frequency from 3 per week to fortnightly, and continued to reduce.

Along with dramatic seizure reduction Leafy’s sleep improved, she was brighter, less distressed and wobbly on her feet. We were getting our daughter back again!

Leafy’s Modified Keto Diet

We opted for the Modified KD. It has a lower fat to carbohydrate ratio than Classic KD. With MKD Leafy eats a wide range of low carbohydrate vegetables with moderate protein and liquids and still a good portion of healthy fats.

Resized_Leafie_ lasagne2IMG_0095

Medical KD often relies on formula foods and highly refined oils. We opted for good quality nutrient dense whole foods. To optimize her nutrient intake carbohydrates are from low starch vegetables and salads, and her wide range of good fats are from animal sources, nuts and seeds.

Resized_Leafie keto chocolates_0093

Her typical favourite meals include paleo muesli, almond orange cake, cheese and salmon omelette, aubergine pizza and raspberry ripple ice-cream.

My Nutrition Work – Leafie.com

The healthier Leafy became through diet and the more I learned about our body’s need for healthy fats and wholefoods, the more concerned I became with how crazy mainstream foods and diets are.

I have retrained as a Nutrition Advisor and now support other families to rebalance their foods and take their health back into their own hands.

Leafie is named after my happy, vibrant daughter and reflects my passion for sharing what I have learned.

I’m also mad about good fats and taking on the saturated fat myths. I now supply fantastic quality tallow culinary and skincare products—Goodfats.

Resized_Leafie_Leafy and mama

Marks Daily Apple

I was so inspired to find Mark’s blog. I admire the work he is doing to shatter the prevailing food myths and to bring whole food into the primal low carb movement.

Feature_Leafie_Family BigWheel Leicester

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New Finds!

I love to share new finds that I am digging, and I love it when you guys share them with me!

Here are a few new things worth sharing.

A handful of you shared this maze shirt with me after my maze post and, of course, Mazen had to have it! I ordered it online ASAP in fear that they would be sold out in our Target, and while I was at Target.com I thought I’d see if there were any shorts on sale. (Somehow Mazen had only three pairs of shorts in his drawer – two households can get messy!)

I found these two pairs from Cat & Jack. Have you heard of that line? Their stuff is super cute. I am obsessed with chambray and textured navy, so these were both must-haves too. They are on the big size, so I think they will fit him next year too. I bought Mazen some pants too (loving all the boys’ joggers), but I think they are all too big for this year! …And this kitchen soap dispenser popped into my cart too. I love the modern gray!

For me, I needed some new PJ shorts, and these are my very favorite ones from GAP. They go on sale all the time, especially when GAP has those killer 40% off days. Love the lobsters! And the pineapple pants are so comfortable. It’s hard for me to find PJ pants that are loose in the leg and not too long, and these are perfect.

Remember how I wrote about my Mahabis slippers a while back? I have some feedback on them.

I ended up getting the summer “breathable” ones with some referral credits and I am back to report that I much prefer the winter style. The gray classic ones are totally awesome, but something about the navy summer pair just isn’t as perfect. I think they are actually a bit narrower and therefore feel tighter on my feet? I got my winter ones out last week and couldn’t believe how different they felt. Mahabis are still the best slippers ever, but I’d stick to the winter ones if you are trying them out.

Also, I don’t love the rubber soles. They are designed to slip on so you can go outside, but they aren’t all that easy to slip on with the snap at the back! It’s easier and quicker for me to switch into outside slip-on shoes than it is to add the sole. I also found soles to be a bit wobbly and loose, and tripped over them a few times, so I love the slippers for inside use only. A shame since the soles add that pop of color!

 

My friend Katherine works with Rodan + Fields and gave me a tube of their Lash Boost to give my lashes some love before the wedding. I’ve been using it for two months now, and I can confirm that my lashes ARE thicker and longer! Of course, it’s hard to tell, but I noticed a jump right after starting to use it and then not much changed for a while. I left it at home accidentally when I went to the beach and went about two weeks without using it, but when I started using it again, I noticed yet another big jump! It’s almost like my lashes have a feast or famine period before they grow. Or maybe, like a growing child, you only notice every now and then. I can tell they are longer most obviously when I put on mascara.

Katherine is offering any of you who would like to try it 10% off! Just email her for details: katmcnerney@yahoo.com

(Let me tell you – trying to take a selfie of your lashes is impossible. I think this was take 25?!)

Thomas and I started watching and loving the Netflix show Ozark! Warning: the opening episode had me feeling totally anxious, but the series is really good! I haven’t seen Breaking Bad, but I’ve heard it’s similar. It follows a family to the Ozarks after the dad gets involved in money laundering and drugs. It’s a bit dark, but I just love Jason Bateman, and the characters are great. Check it out, and be sure to get to episode 3 before giving up. Also: we just watched the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, and I thought it was the last episode of the ENTIRE SERIES! Imagine my surprise when it was over and I googled to find out there is a season 8. D’OH! Nevertheless, I am glad there is more. Season 7 was great!

Also on the beauty front: do you guys know about soccer pre-wrap? It is the ultimate sports headband! Here are all the reasons why it’s great:

  1. It’s cheap.
  2. You can cut your headbands to size.
  3. You can re-use headbands for weeks.
  4. It’s sticky, so it doesn’t slip.
  5. You can spread it out wide or make it thin.
  6. It comes in a lot of really fun colors.

This stuff was designed to go under an injury wrap, but tons of really cool soccer players use it for headbands. I bought my rainbow rolls on Amazon in 2014 and still have half of them left! I wear a headband in every workout.

 

That’s a WRAP!

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What I’m Loving Latey 93

Hi, guys! Happy FRIDAY to you!

I still can’t believe summer is officially over. I feel like life did a time-warped between Forth of July and Labor Day. Holy cow, it was an incredible couple of months, but I’m sooooo ready for fall weather and getting back into a routine… and, ok, sitting on the couch doing nothing on Friday nights. Anyone else? 🙂 Anyway, it’s Friday and you know what that means: Time for the next edition of What I’m Loving Lately!

Pictured above: The best running shoes ever created 

Speaking of awesome sneakers… I’m lovvvvving my new Revel sneakers from Brooks. They’re actually a cross between a lifestyle and running shoe. They have a fun knit pattern on them, so you can totally do the athleisure thing with them AND you can run in them (unlike some other “lifestyle” sneakers). I’ve been wearing them a ton lately! 🙂

Our new DTFN promo video – We’ve been working on this for weeks now, and it’s finally done! We love how it turned out! 🙂 Related: If you’re interested in signing up for our 3-week Post-Summer Slim Down the deadline to register is tomorrow (Saturday)!

Quinn’s recent growth spurt – Last week, he woke up looking especially tall, so I measured him – look how much he grew in less than 2.5 months!

“Fitness” Made Me Infertile – This was such a good read – more is not always better!

Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter with Sea Salt Perfect Bar – OMG, this is the best flavor yet! It tastes just like raw cookie dough!

Birthday Cake Cookies – Funfetti lovers: This recipe looks epic!

All the workout leggings – I’m finally upgrading the leggings in my workout wardrobe. I have so many pairs that just don’t fit right or fall down when I’m exercising, so I bought a couple of pairs from Lululemon (Align Crop) and another pair of Greenlight Capris from Brooks. FYI: The ones I am wearing in the photo below are on sale for $42 right now and if you use Ebates, you’ll get an additional 4% off!

The Two Random Foods That Cleared My Skin & Balanced My Hormones – Thought this article was really interesting. Balanced hormones = clear skin! Related: I have an update about my experience with seed cycling coming next week!

Question of the Day

What pieces in your workout wardrobe need updating?  

 

 

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