Monday, November 13, 2017

Tidbits, Tangents & Things

Good morning, friends!

Ok, there really isn’t anything super groundbreaking in this post, but sometimes those are the best ones, right? It’s just a random list of things I’ve been meaning to tell you guys – random tidbits and cool things that I wanted to share. I mean, hey, it’s Tuesday, we have a long week ahead, so let’s just have some fun this morning, shall we? Here we go…

Mal and I are fighting over the Turkey Stuffing Kettle Chips from Trader Joe’s. I bought a bag last week and it was gone in like 12 hours. This week, we bought two bags, but the fighting about who has eaten more has already started. Haha! They’re so dang delicious and taste just like Thanksgiving stuffing!

I ordered this hoodie the other day and it’s definitely a game changer. I can’t wait to wear it ALLTHETIME this winter!

I’m loving tasting plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner lately. They’re such a great way to get a healthy variety of macro- and micronutrients into your diet. The one pictured below was inspired by my trip to Israel. Details here.

Still debating whether or not to try Stitch Fix? Well, here is some SERIOUS INCENTIVE for you! From now until the end of November, you can try Stitch Fix for the first time with a waived styling fee! That’s right. Stitch Fix is waiving the styling fee for anyone who signs up for their first Fix. Important! Styling fee’s are only waived when using this link.

IBD School from the University of Michigan. Someone shared this in a UC Facebook group that I’m a part of, and it’s probably the most valuable IBD resource I’ve ever seen. It’s super comprehensive and covers just about everything related to IBD – even medical marijuana and how to read your blood tests. I also love that it gives FODMAPs a shout-out, especially since so many GI doctors won’t give you a straight answer when asked about diet.

Speaking of IBD, this news is exciting: Simponi Maintains Long-Term Effects in UC Patients Results Show. In addition to Entyvio, my doctor was pumped about this new drug. Glad to hear that patients are doing well on it!

I got a new stand-up desk, and I am totally OBSESSED with it. It’s already changed the way I work for the better. Blog post about it coming soon!

I’m pretty sure this playhouse is what Qman is getting for his “big” Christmas present this year. He fell in love with it at a friend’s house, but I’m still shopping around and would love some recommendations. If your little one has a dollhouse/playhouse that they love, will you please let me know? 🙂

I paid $9 for 4 shots of espresso the other day. At the time, I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but I’m still annoyed.

I can’t stop eating these Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies. For real. It’s only Tuesday, and I’ve already made two batches this week. They’re so delicious and so easy to make!

Question of the Day

What’s your random tidbit or tangent for today?

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What’s the difference between the Paleo and Ketogenic diets?

Hey folks!

I’ve had a lot of people ask ask for a concise breakdown on what the similarities and differences might be between the Paleo and Keto eating approaches. Not sure if this fits the bill of “concise” but here is a video Nicki and I shot to try to address this topic. Let me know if this helps clarify any confusion you may have had and please do share any question you still have. The only way I can help y’all is to know where you might be stuck. At the end of the video we mention a new project I’ve been working on, click here if you’d like to learn more about that.

 



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Dear Mark: Insulin Response of Whey and Cancer

Dear_Mark_Inline_PhotoFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering one reader question. It’s an important one from last week’s post on insulin and illness. Given the potential effects of excess insulin on cancer development and growth, should we be worrying about the insulinogenic effects of a food like whey protein—which is one of the most insulinogenic foods of all? I sell the stuff, so I’d better know what I’m doing. Do I?

Let’s find out.

Rob H. asked:

Great post Mark, very thought-provoking. However it throws up a big question for me: you wrote that “colon cancer patients who eat the most insulinogenic foods have poorer outcomes” and from clicking through to the study it appears this was based on the insulin index of foods. Now, as I understand it, whey protein is one of the most insulinogenic of foods (higher even than white bread), so is this something we should be avoiding? I take 40g of your ‘Primal Whey Protein’ every morning before breakfast, but is that going to cause me problems down the line? From your 2011 article on dairy you wrote: “It comes down to the amino acid composition of dairy proteins, specifically the amino acids leucine, valine, lysine, and isoleucine. These are the truly insulinogenic proteins, and they’re highest in whey (which is probably why whey protein elicits the biggest insulin response).” Does this mean we should be avoiding whey protein if the insulin response it produces fuels pre-cancerous growth (often very commonplace) into full-blown tumours?

Nice catch and great question.

I don’t think you should worry about whey protein and cancer. Here’s why:

We Primal people exist in a strange (but growing) bubble. The foods we eat that provoke insulin are way different from the foods most others are eating. Most other people by and large probably aren’t chowing down on grass-fed lamb leg, roast chicken, sockeye salmon, canned sardines, and whey protein shakes. The bulk of the insulinogenic foods the colon cancer folks ate were carbs, not animals. We can’t extrapolate from french fries and soda to whey shakes and steak.

Even if you ignore the differences in micronutrient content between animal protein and carbs, you can’t ignore their disparate effects on glucagon. Protein like whey provokes insulin release, but it also releases glucagon, a hormone that counters some of the effects of insulin and has potential inhibitory effects on tumor growth. Carbohydrate consumption does not lead to glucagon secretion.

The available evidence suggests to me that whey isn’t harmful in the contest of cancer and may even be protective, even when the cancer is already established (and presumably highly responsive to insulinogenic foods).

For one, many oncologists are actually recommending their patients take whey protein or similar protein sources to deal with muscle wasting, a terrible affliction that can really increase mortality and worsen outcomes. In one study, taking essential amino acids—of which whey is a great source—helped people with advanced lung cancer retain muscle mass without affecting disease trajectory. 

You might be surprised to learn that whey supplements are an accepted part of pre-op preparation and post-op recovery for cancer patients.

Among colon cancer patients awaiting surgery, those who partake in a multimodal prehabilitation program that includes whey protein, exercise, nutritional assessments, and anxiety coping techniques have better outcomes.

Colon cancer surgery patients who take whey are able to walk farther than patients who don’t take whey.

Helping preserve muscle and functional capacity is to be expected. That’s not affecting the cancer itself, though. What about that?

Well, whey promotes glutathione production. Glutathione is the body’s premier endogenous antioxidant. It lowers oxidative stress and inflammation and helps detoxify various toxins—real ones, like ethanol and heavy metals—which can trigger carcinogenesis. That said, glutathione may also reduce the effect of chemotherapy. By and large, glutathione is probably better to have than not if you’re worried about cancer prevention.

Culture studies where they bathe isolated cells in whey have mixed results. Usually it helps, increasing cellular resistance to cancer. Sometimes it seems to cause certain types (prostate) of cancer cells to proliferate while reducing proliferation in others (breast). Whatever the result of these studies, in reality, eating a whey shake doesn’t “bathe” your prostate in whey protein. That’s not how food works. If anything, it seems protective against prostate cancer.

In animal studies, whey protein shines, outclassing most other proteins in the suppression of tumor growth. There are also human case studies where whey protein consumption coincides with the suppression of urogenital tumors. I’m optimistic.

Finally, insulin isn’t bad in and of itself, as I’ve said time and time again. Insulin spikes are a normal part of eating. Without insulin, we’d have a hell of a time trying to build muscle or move glycogen into muscle stores. The whole premise of the post from last week was that insulin becomes problematic in the context of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. That’s it. Spikes, normal. Perpetual elevation, not normal. How does whey affect that?

In overweight and obese folks, whey protein reduces fasting insulin levels.

Fatty liver is a common cause of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. Taking whey improves it, reducing the accumulation of liver fat.

I’m open to having my mind changed, but I think the evidence stands for itself. Whey is probably safe and may even be one of the best weapons we have in the fight against cancer—on several fronts.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care, be well, and lend your input down below!

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Havin’ A Fall Ball

We have been having the greyest, wintery weather, but our leaves took the cue and have finally turned. It’s beautiful when the sun is out! I’m already fighting the blues when the clouds are low.

Check out this gorgeous box of sox socks I bought for Mazen! His toes will be warm.

Friday

On Friday I drove down to Richmond for the day to attend RebelleCon, “Lifestyle design for entrepreneurial women.”

The program focused on wellness, money, community, and creativity. It was one of those days that left me inspired and motivated from the inside out! I loved the talks from Jessamyn Stanley, author of Every Body Yoga, and Tonya of My Fab Finance. If you’re anywhere close to Richmond, definitely keep this event on your radar for next year!

I drove back to Cville late in the afternoon, and Thomas and I quickly turned around to head to Vivace to meet friends before the UVA basketball game. I asked for a cup of soup for an early dinner, and was presented with the world’s largest ‘cup’ of lentil and sausage soup – aka a huge bowl!

We had a great time at the game! I love basketball because you don’t have to worry about rain or cold! 🙂

Saturday

Saturday morning we had big, warm bowls of oatmeal – PB&J style – before bundling up for soccer with Mazen.

It was 24 degrees, and we dressed for the weather!

After soccer, we headed straight to the gym to warm up!

Matt took Mazen swimming in the warm pool – a drastic change from the outdoors!

I did 30 minutes on the stairmaster, plus 20 minutes in the steamy sauna! After a quick shower at home, I met my soccer team at Three Notchd for lunch! We had a game scheduled for Saturday but it was cancelled at the last minute, so we decided to drink beer together instead :mrgreen:

The menu at Three Notchd is perfection. Local ingredients, salads, great snacks (the deviled eggs, and the pretzel bites are AMAZING), burgers, pub food, brunch food, and a variety of drinks, including beer and cocktails. Plus, they have a kids area. It’s my new favorite spot!

I had the Fresh 20 Field Salad with chicken on top and a Hydraulion Red!

I walked home and picked Mazen up along the way (who got a haircut and ate lunch with Matt.) He’s learning how to stand up on his bike!

We snuggled with Gussers all afternoon! 🙂

Those boys…

On Saturday night I had some leftover spaghetti for dinner (Thomas’s from Vivace) and then headed to Random Row for the ACAC Fall Ball.

The event was a big dance party! We normally do burpees and sweat to bumpin’ music, so it was fun to just dance, dance, dance.

Mack and I burned lots of calories on the dance floor. He’s got some moves! (And DJ Collins was on point!)

Sunday

On Sunday morning we had pancakes to prepare for soccer at 1:00pm.

And like every Sunday – we watched football!

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High Low High 24

Good morning and a very happy Monday to you!

As you might remember, I love a good High Low High blog post, so here’s a recap of our weekend, which shares both the high and low points from it. I always like to focus on the positive side of things, so there’s typically more highs than lows. With that, here’s how our weekend went. And, of course, I’d love to hear about your weekend too, so feel free to share some highs and lows in the comment section below!

HIGH: Family date night at the British Beer Company in Pembroke. They invited us for dinner and we were more than happy to accept. Our local BBC is right down the street from CrossFit, so we pop in from time-to-time, but we hadn’t been in awhile, so I was excited to see what they had to offer on their fall/winter menu.

Drinks to start – Mal had a little trouble deciding which beer to pick (there were so many of his favorites on the menu), so our waitress gave him a small tasting, which was a lot of fun for him.

I love beer, but beer doesn’t love me, so I went with a dirty vodka martini with olives. Mmm! Happy Friday to me!

For my entree, it was an easy decision: Smoked Shipyard Pulled Pork Tacos.

Holy yum! Seriously, these were awesome… and with the sweet potato mash on the side… perfection. I highly recommend this meal! 🙂

LOW: Quinn waking up at 2:30 AM and then again at 4:45 AM because he wanted to “play.” He even turned on the lights in his bedroom. Ugghhhh, this staying in bed thing has been rough lately. We’re all tired and no amount of “reasoning” has worked, so we resorted to taking away toys, which was a “fun” way to start the day on Saturday morning.

HIGH: A fun partner workout followed by iced coffee and donuts at Coffee Shack. My favorite type of Saturday morning!

LOW: Overtired and cranky 3 year drama. Blahhhhh.

HIGH: Getting Quinn down for an early nap, which meant we made it to a friend’s birthday party only an hour late. It was scheduled during nap time, so we originally weren’t sure if we were going to make it at all. I’m glad we did!

HIGH: Catching up with friends and eating delicious food. The dessert pictured above is “acorn donut bites.” How cute are they?!

HIGH: Quinn sleeping until almost 7:00 AM on Sunday morning. Our taking away toy tactic work!

HIGH: Spending all day Sunday at a course called “Practical Guide to Nutrition, Hormones, and Metabolism.” 

LOW: The course just being so-so. There was a lot of great info overall, but it barely touched on hormones, which was the main reason I signed up for it. Oh, well.

LOW: After a long day and battling a ton of traffic on my way home, not having the motivation to food prep. 

HIGH: Making a batch of shredded chicken and some delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies. Meal prep priorities, right?

HIGH: Finishing season 2 of Stranger Things. It was SO GOOD! It actually took us much longer than expected to finish it because I kept falling asleep during every episode. Haha! I absolutely loved it, but jet-lag + 3 businesses + 3 year old = exhausted. But, seriously, I loved season 2 so much – maybe even more than season 1!

Questions of the Day

Are you a fan of Stranger Things? 

Are you a beer drinker? What’s your current favorite?

 

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