Wednesday, April 8, 2015

If you have an eating disorder, and are thinking about Whole30

There's one line in the Whole30 materials that are probably the most famous/infamous:
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your ‘struggles’.”
But some folks who had food addiction took them to task for that language. And the Whole30 official response was this compassionate post: Sometimes, it is hard.

While I have struggled with mildly out of control eating from time to time, I have not (and through no credit of my own) had the long-term, serious struggle that many do. So reading the comments was very educational for me. Might be for you, too. Here are a few:

"I’m in tears because your re-write showed a kindness in reference to my eating disorder that I do not usually come across. I’ve tried to explain the same thing to people, but no one ever seems to understand. The chemistry in my brain and in my body does not work the same way it does for other people."

"Having watched my Mom battle food addiction as long as I’ve been alive, I commend you for your re-write aimed at those with disordered eating. Even for me, I’ve been struggling with starting a Whole30 because I needed to understand it perfectly before I could begin... I’m so relieved to know it isn’t just me. Thank you for being compassionate enough to frame it in a way the rest of us can utilize as well."

"Anyone who.has been to an AA meeting can attest to the fact that recovering alcoholics are usually carb addicts. Whether it is just a.symptom of an addictive personality or whether it is the same ...problem creating both sets of cravings is a question worth studying. This speaks to how food affects the addict, and how much determination there is required to resist temptation. They deserve our respect and congratulations for continued determination."

"Then I... realized something big. I eat paleo. Not just some of the time – all the time.... I actually cook almost every meal at home and don’t even think twice about it anymore. I stand up for myself in restaurants and make sure I’m eating what I want to put in my body. Better still, I don’t count calories, I don’t starve myself, and I love my body even though it isn’t perfect. That’s the best thing in the world – loving myself....
"When I accidentally ran across this website many months ago, I never imagined all this. But, it wasn’t just learning to eat in a much better way, it was about learning to forgive myself and get right back on the horse when I fell off. Thank you."

"I am a recovering addict and an addictions counselor. When I first heard about The Whole30... I thought it sounded ridiculous and dangerous for anyone prone to addictive behavior. After reading through much of the site, and even before today’s rewrite, I have come to appreciate how balance and perspective are a theme throughout the program."

Interested in Whole30? I could just give you a quick link to the "About" page, but the first time I did that, I read about halfway through and thought, "These people are nuts!" and clicked back out of the site.

But I keep hearing stories about people's lives being changed by this way of eating, so I kept reading more and more, finally reading It Starts With Food. Then it began to make sense.

Do I buy into all their assumptions and theories? No, but I think there's something to it, so we're trying it. I hope to start blogging about our journey soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A solid resource for info on sugar and health

Check out an authoritative source for scientific evidence about sugar and its impact on health. Organized by a team of doctors and researchers from the University of California, the goal of SugarScience is to take the latest research out of medical journals and make it available to the public, to help individuals and communities make healthy choices.

The site reflects an exhaustive review of more than 8,000 scientific papers that have been published to date, with a focus on the areas where the science is strongest – specifically, on diabetesheart disease and liver disease.

In addition to publishing information, the site also has free resources for others to use, such as graphics for print or online use (like the one shown above), and videos. Here's a sample:



Friday, April 3, 2015

Things you need to unlearn about diet

Researchers are learning new things about diet and nutrition that are turning the tables on some of the advice we've been hearing so long, we believe them as hard cold facts. Are you believing one or more of them?

Unlearn this: What I eat influences my body chemistry.

Learn this: This one is not really new news, but I think it's a core truth that we don't really comprehend: What you eat doesn't just affect your body: it literally becomes your body chemistry! And your body tissue, bone, blood, muscles, brain, hormones, etc. And the fuel you run on. The food you eat is disassembled in your digestive system, then reassembled to make you. This is why what you eat is so important!

Learn more: Want it all spelled out scientifically? Here's an 11-minute video from Kahn Academy, explaining the basics of metabolism:

Unlearn these: Eating fat is what makes you fat. Low fat = healthy. Eliminate as much fat as possible from your diet. Saturated fat is especially bad.

Learn this: Your body needs fat! It uses fat from your diet for energy, for making cells and other important parts of your body, and yes, some of it is stored as fat. (However, carbs are also stored as fat!)
     Also, most grocery store products labeled "Low Fat!" have amped up sugar and other unhealthy carbs to compensate for the lost fat; definitely not a healthy move!
Learn more: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which concludes that "there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease."

Unlearn this: Eating high cholesterol foods is bad for your health. 

Learn this: New news, as of Feb. 2015 -- "The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel -- The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee -- has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food." While about one quarter of people may be cholesterol-sensitive, for most of us, medicine is now saying it's not the problem we once believed.
     So how did we get convinced that cholesterol was so bad? Some misunderstandings about how body cholesterol gets made, and its exact role in our circulatory system. Oh, and the fact that in one early, influential study, the researchers used rabbits. Turns out, rabbits are unusually vulnerable to a high cholesterol diet!

To learn more: The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol,Washington Post

Unlearn this: It's all about calories in, calories out.

Learn this: How nutrition affects our health is incredibly complex, so it's too simplistic to say it's all about one thing. But if it were, it wouldn't be about calories in/calories out! And it would be definitely be more about the content of your diet. Over the long term, you will lose more weight, keep it off, and be healthier eating 1700 calories a day of whole, nutrient-dense foods than you will on 1200 factory-manufactured, "low fat" calories a day. And it will be easier, because you'll be more satisfied!

To learn more: Four Biggest Myths About Calories, CBS