Continuous Glucose Monitor

In November 2022, I opted to try a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to track my blood sugar readings. Granted, I am not diabetic, however my father and my aunt are diabetics and I had gestational diabetes during my 2nd pregnancy. I’m a bit of a data nerd and like to see how my body responds to the things I eat. So, I signed up for a program through Zoe and started following the app and logging my food. After I completed the 14 days, I then stumbled upon Glucose Goddess and want to try another 14 days with the CGM. Here’s the data from the first trial.

I felt that my blood glucose was actually pretty well maintained. My average reading was 94 and I fluctuated from 72-138. That’s pretty much carrying on with my regular lifestyle: protein shake for breakfast, whole food plant based meal for lunch, and regular dinner and a snack before bed. After reading the Glucose Revolution book, I find that I have an even better understanding of what I can do to improve my stability and consistency of my glucose curve. 2nd trial coming soon!

VO2 Max and Health/Wellness

VO2 max

After listening to the Huberman Lab podcast (and you should too! He’s got nuggets of info on health!), I decided to schedule a Dexa Scan as well as VO2 max test. I want to have a baseline of where I am at my age. This year has been a huge year of change. I’ve committed to my health (yes I’m currently 7 months in with a strength program called Rise; I started 1-2x/wk rowing; MMA 1x/wk). I’m changing jobs. I have cut back or cut out unnecessary or harmful things to my life. I’m participating in a glucose monitoring study. I wish I had done these metrics every decade of my life starting at 10.

What is VO2 max?

How to Improve VO2 max

6 Ways to Improve Your VO2 Max

VO2 Max: The Fitness Metric That Can Help You Run Faster and Workout Harder

Effect of dietary fat on metabolic adjustments to maximal VO2 and endurance in runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994 Jan;26(1):81-8.

VO2 max test on Concept 2

The more I dig into the world of health and wellness, the more there is to learn. Hormones, gut health, nutrition, supplements, macros/micros, exercise (role for mobility, flexibility, cardio, strength, functional, etc). I wish they taught this stuff in medical school. This is the real foundation of health and wellness.

Cardiorespiratory Coordination in Collegiate Rowing PDF

A New Fitness Test of Estimating VO2max in Well-Trained Rowing Athletes. Front. Physiol., 02 July 2021. Sec. Exercise Physiology

How to Improve:

Indoor Rowing Workouts That Boost Your Vo2 Max

More gems:

iollo – metabolomics testing (metabolite measuring)

Zoe – gut health, blood sugar, blood fat

Athletic Greens – comprehensive nutrition and gut health support

Ka’Chava – whole health meal replacement

Vedge Nutrition – fitness supplements made by vegans for vegans

Mud/WTR and Ryze – mushroom supplementation

DNAfit

23andMe

Overall, I felt I could have pushed a bit harder but I was nervous on the treadmill. My legs were burning. Oh the dreadmill.

Punta de Mita

It started after a trip to Cabo. We went to a friends’ wedding and we stayed at a cute hotel right at a surf break. It was so wonderful just walking out to go surf and then coming back to have a bevie and snack and then do it all over again!

I had an upcoming week for a vacation and wanted to do a surf camp to get better at surfing. I started researching the various womens’ surf camps and stumbled upon one in Sayulita. The more I researched the town, the more I wanted to immerse myself and our family in the culture. Great people, yummy food, stellar surf….I’m in!

An opportunity came up and it has been an experience for sure trying to buy beachfront in Mexico. But, the stars have aligned and we will be vacationing in the beautiful town of Punta de Mita.

Surf Spots

The Central Pacific Coast of Mexico is surrounded by jungle and receives 345 days of sunshine per year. Located on the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, its sub-tropical climate is often compared to Hawaii’s. Temperatures reach 90 degrees F (32 C) during the summer, along with high humidity, but at night, the onshore breeze from the Bay of Banderas brings cool air that makes for pleasant sleeping conditions. The rainy season is June through September, however, August and September are considered the two “rainy” months. On average, September has 15 wet days per month, while January has only two. Rain usually doesn’t start until late in the afternoon, leaving most of the day free for outdoor activities. The Bay of Banderas also offers shelter from harsh Pacific winds and hard weather in winter. December and January, the peak tourist season, are generally warm, sunny and dry, with comfortable, balmy nights.

Current Weather and 10 Day Forecast

Best time to visit

How to get pesos in Mexico

From Green Lagoon Surfing

Links:

Weather: MeteoBlue, WeatherNetwork, WeatherUnderground

Surf

Hiking/Biking/Outdoors

  • Monkey Mountain Trail: Vallarta Hiking Route: Higuera Blanca to Monkey Mountain. Difficulty: Intermediate [3.5/5]. Duration: 3 hours. This trail is also known as the Monkey Mountain hike. It is a bit off-the-beaten-path since you must drive past Punta Mita and head towards Litibu Beach to get here. You can take a guided tour or go on your own to the top of Monkey Mountain with an amazing 360° view of coastline and jungles! The hike takes about 1.5 hrs each way, so make sure to take some water and sunscreen. To start the hike, go to the main square of Higuera Blanca, walk along Juan Escutia street until you reach a marked gap in the jungle that indicates the rest of the way. The hike takes about 1.5 hrs each way.

Food

Things To Do

Punta de Mita Surf Spots

What whole food plant based experts eat in a day

YouTube: Plant Based News

YouTube: Physicians Committee – First 21 days going plant-based

Dr. Gregor’s Daily Dozen checklist YouTube video

Top Plant based Nutrition hacks from Dr. Gregor YouTube

Books to start:

Recipes:

Toxins

Who knew that toxins exist EVERYWHERE? I certainly wasn’t cognizant of my exposure to toxins. Teflon, PABAs, air, water, food, etc. But, I have learned so much and am constantly learning of the dangers of these toxins in our everyday lives. Most recently, all the soaps, lotions, and cleaning products have been updated in our house.

From Union-Bulletin.com

We use (all can be found on Amazon):

  • Puracy natural dish soap
  • Everyone Soap: hand soap and lotion
  • Nature Clean dishwasher detergent
  • Everyone 3 in 1 soap (adult and kids)
  • Everyone lotion
  • Attitude natural shampoo

EWG:

EWG: Skin DEEP:

  • ThinkSport spf 50+ sunscreen
  • Super Goop Play 50+ spf face sunscreen (currently a 3; would consider a better option)
  • Ilia, RMS Beauty, Lawless, Aether Beauty makeups

EWG: Food Scores:

  • Baby purees: Beech Nut, Earth’s Best Organic
From The Good Human

Profound Documentaries on Toxins/Food Industry:

Current Favorite Reads Regarding Health:

Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

I’ve been hearing more and more about a whole food plant-based diet. There’s definitely data out there that shows this lifestyle is the key to longevity and protective from illness and disease. My curiosity first started when I had our first child. It was important to me to learn more about nutrition because I wanted to learn how and what to prepare food for my kids. From this curiosity, I stumbled upon a book called Genius Foods. Then, I listened to the Audible version of The Obesity Code. Most recently, I’ve been embracing How Not to Die and Eat to Live. Add Fiber Fueled to this list and I’m for certain that WFPB is the way to go. And add The Starch Solution for more evidence toward a whole food plant based lifestyle. I’m working on it.

From DanielleBelardoMD.com

Am I vegan? No. Am I a vegetarian? No. Am I here to save the animals? If saving the animals is a positive side effect, then absolutely! My main goal is to have the l o n g e s t quality of time with my kids as well as teach them how to incorporate nutrition into their lives. As a parent, I want to make my kids’ lives easier, more meaningful, and more fun. Aside from financial freedom and responsible parenting, the next best gift I can give to my kids is the power of nutrition. I wish I knew this information when I was a kid and grew up knowing what was helpful to fuel my body.

CME for healthcare workers:

Intermittent Fasting

A colleague of mine had suggested/introduced “The Obesity Code” to me and my reading list.  It’s a fabulous read and I highly encourage a read/listen.  Here are other books I have read and suggest.  After The Obesity Code, I chose The Complete Guide to Fasting… and since then, I’ve added Eat Stop Eat to my audiobook library as well.  I’m extremely intrigued about intermittent fasting.  I’ve followed a paleo diet for years, however, I’m curious to see if I could actually try intermittent fasting and not succumb to hunger bc I love snacking!

Here are some resources I’ve found to be useful:

From Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat:

To summarize: a rather normal dose of alcohol caused a decrease in fat burning, no change in carbohydrate burning, and a slight increase in overall calorie burning in men who were in the fasted state.

So the question remains. If metabolic rate increases, glucose oxidation stayed the same, and fat burning decreased… what the heck were they burning?

Turns out the answer is the alcohol… sort of.

In fact, blood acetate is such a priority that it’s mere presence can decrease lipolysis by ~50%, even when you are in the fasted state [Crouse JR, 1968]

And this is what happens when you drink during your fast. It’s not that you will gain more fat (unless you are drinking excessively), but you will stop releasing body fat, stop burning body fat, and burn acetate instead. This occurs without any change in insulin levels.

So sadly, it seems the answer is that you cannot drink during your fasts without diminishing your fat burning abilities.

 

I’ve decided to try the 16/8 IF schedule (16 hour fast, 8 hour eating window = 11a – 7p) when I go back to work.

 

Intermittent-Fasting-by-the-hour
From Libifit

Why eat organic?

I wasn’t always a huge supporter of eating organic.  I was a poor college student… a poor medical student… and a poor resident.  In fact, I didn’t start thinking about my health seriously until my husband and I were planning to get pregnant.  Maybe this was a little late in the game at 37 years old… but better late than never, right?

In college, I lived off of lean cuisine microwaveable meals with plastic and drinking 3 diet dr. peppers a day.  In medical school, I survived off a protein bar, sandwich, and microwaveable dinners as well.  Did I mention that I experimented with smoking to help me study?  Ick, what horrible habits!  In residency, I continued with protein bars, microwaveable meals, and hospital food that was free for residents around 9p.  Not to forget, that I made sure I went to a bunch of residency interview dinners to meet potential incoming residents.  Fast forward to getting ready for my wedding day, I went 3 months on a paleo diet and felt incredible and saw real changes in my body without feeling deprived or hungry.  We went organic during my first pregnancy.  We’ve placed more importance on sustaining our baby and helping her maximize her growth and learning with a more nutritious diet.  During my second pregnancy, I again ate organic.  But, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and moved to a more Whole30 diet — eliminating processed foods as well as sweets.  I was able to really control my blood sugars with diet alone, and I feel better without all the processed food and sweets in my system.

Why do I think about this now?  More and more, I feel the impact of a well-balanced diet on my body.  My AGING body.  Perhaps in our youth, we can fake it and make it by eating crap food and maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle.  But as I’m aging, I feel the effects more and definitely sooner.  Additionally, I care more now about what I put into my body and in my family’s.  I would love to teach my kids the importance of healthy eating and what good food tastes like.  So, enter my quest to eat organic as well as grass-fed, hormone-free meats as well as going more plant-based.


Resources:

HelpGuide – Organic Foods: What You Need to Know

HelpGuide – Healthy Food for Kids

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research – Organic vs. Non-Organic PDF

MindBodyGreen – A Doctor’s Top 4 Reasons to Eat Organic

Dr. Axe – Dirty Dozen

EWG – EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Dirty-Dozen-Clean-Fifteen

Time – 4 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Eating Organic

The Organic Center – Bringing you the science behind organic

Food Safety Magazine – 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists Rank Produce Items by Pesticide Level

Association between organic food consumption and metabolic syndrome: cross-sectional results from the NutriNet-Santé study. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Oct;57(7):2477-2488.

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review.  Environ Health. 2017; 16: 111. 

Organic Food in the Diet: Exposure and Health Implications. Annu Rev Public Health. 2017 Mar 20;38:295-313.

Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review.  Ann Intern Med. 2012 Sep 4;157(5):348-66.

Nutrition-related health effects of organic foods: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jul;92(1):203-10.

blog_image_food

Clean Label Project: Methodology

Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health: Health Risks of Pesticides in Food

U.S. Right To Know: Monsanto Papers

U.S. Right To Know: Pesticides

Time: Why Organic is the Right Choice for Parents

NBC News: What a nutritionist wants you to know about pesticides and produce

EH_VENN_GRAPHIC_sm
U of Washington Center for Ecogenetics & Environmental Health


Key Points

  • Eat organic and free-range/cage-free/grass-fed/hormone-free when possible
  • Pesticides are toxic and can lead to health problems later in life
  • Choose organic alternatives to the Dirty Dozen
  • Babies, young children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women are more susceptible to pesticides and toxins in food.
  • Research the labels and get the facts
  • Consider these Netflix documentaries on Health and Nutrition

Arden’s 1st birthday


Written Jan 2, 2019

I can’t believe Arden is almost a year old! Where did the year go?! I’ve got to start getting ideas for her bday as well as invites, food, party favors, location, etc.
Brainstorming:

The number ‘1’ photo collage of Arden: Ribbet, ShapeCollage, Shutterfly

Electronic invites: Paperless Post

Catering: Yelp Taco catering, Yelp food truck catering

Location: Carmel Valley parks

Carmel Valley Community Park and Recreation Center
3777 Townsgate Drive
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 552-1616

** Insurance for caterers/vendors/food trucks needed. No glass containers. Alcohol is permitted. If >50 people, then $175 for day use. Tables 1st come, 1st serve.
Things to get:

  • Inflatable swimming pool: Amazon
  • Balls to fill pool: Amazon
  • Bubbles: Amazon
  • Gluten-free Cupcakes
  • sheet cake – Costco?
  • one small cake for Arden
  • decor for Arden high chair: Amazon
  • Plates, silverware, napkins
  • alcohol
  • 529 gifting: https://gift.my529.org/1RU6HD
  • Party favors: bubbles, pinwheels, Amazon
  • Photographer?

Nutrition 2019

I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions.  Why?  Because I used to make a list of 10 things and NEVER got any of them completed.  My goal these days is to constantly re-asses my goals daily.  Every day is a new day to accomplish something or try something new or go outside your comfort zone.  So, this year, my husband and I both want to work on our nutrition.  It’s more evident now (we’re in our 40s) than ever before that we really take responsibility not only for our own health, but the health of our littles.  Therefore, this is a top priority for both of us.  The more we learn about nutrition and what to put into our bodies, the more we can teach our kids the importance of health and nutrition.  I hope this knowledge continues to transfer down into our kids, grandkids, etc.  The gift of good health is more valuable to me now than before.   The older I get, the more I see my parents/family aging.  Luckily, my family has good genes are have lived into their 90s.  However, I want to take what I can into my own hands and make sure it stays that way.  I come across so many patients who either have bad genes, poor diet, poor access to nutrition, lack of knowledge of nutrition and exercise, or simple complacency with an “I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do” attitude.

Three Books that I’m tackling this year:

 

recommended-weekly-exercise
From CBHS Fund