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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
Fit Men Cook by Kevin Curry: 100+ meal prep recipes for men and women — we got this book as a gift from my mom who is a great healthy example of nutrition and exercise. This book is very approachable!! Originally, my hubs and I wanted to just dial in a few meals to be able to cook during the week. But the more we read this book, the more we love the idea of meal prepping and eating healthy at home and work. So far, I’ve cooked one dinner and one breakfast and they are delicious! Our almost 11month old loves the foods as well!
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung — I purchased this on Audible as a recommendation from one of my anesthesia partners. It’s been a great listen and actually uses large scale studies done on humans (not animals) to really discuss nutrition. So far, it’s a great listen!
From time to time, I get a craving for meat. More specifically, Texas BBQ. As much as I’d love to learn the secrets of a pitmaster or master griller/smoker, life and job get in the way of tackling it all.
However, I did find a delicious recipe to curtail that craving that’s tender, juicy, flavorful and brings me back to my Texas roots!
EASY BBQ INSTANT POT RIBSOriginal Recipe: please visit their website to send the love!
Make this no fuss 4 ingredients Easy BBQ Instant Pot Ribs in 40 mins! Tender baby back ribs are finger lickin’ good. Perfect weeknight dinners! Perfect weeknight meal, last minute dinners, or cook them for your next BBQ. 😀
Prepare the Baby Back Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs with a paper towel.
Season the Baby Back Ribs: Season the Baby Back Ribs with generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Pressure Cook the Baby Back Ribs: Place 1 cup of cold running tap water and a trivet into the pressure cooker. Place the baby back ribs on top of the trivet. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 16 – 25 minutes. Adjust the timing according to your preference: 16 minutes (Tender with a bit of chew) to 25 minutes (Fall off the bone). Turn off the heat and full Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.
Preheat Oven: While the baby back ribs is cooking in the pressure cooker, preheat the oven to 450F.
Apply Sauce and Finish in the Oven: Brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the baby back ribs on all sides including the bones. Place the baby back ribs with the baking tray in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
Serve: Remove the ribs from the oven and serve!
In all honesty, instead of doing steps 4 and 5, my husband fired up the grill and got some great grill flavoring on the ribs while also rebasting them with BBQ sauce. That’s how we served up the ribs! And it was a crowd pleaser!!! This would be perfect for your next summer picnic or Super Bowl party!