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4 Biggest & Most Common Breakfast Mistakes You Really Need to Avoid

biggest breakfast mistakes

Lynda: In my opinion tucking into a highly nutritious breakfast with awareness is crucial for premium health. Through many years of personal and patient experimentation I believe that what and how we choose to ‘break our fast’ can either set us up for a day doused with food cravings, lack of focus, low mood and lethargy or one laced with clear thinking, balanced emotions, balanced blood sugar levels, energy and good digestion.

The following are my top suggestions to consider when deciding whether to indulge in a breakfast fit for a king/queen or one fit for a pauper.

1. Eating Disguised ‘Healthy’ Breakfast Cereals

food myths breakfast cerealIn essence, we are talking about cereals packaged/processed convenience foods. When did pulverising cereal into drinkable poppers and cardboard boxes of weird looking food particles become appealing? Have we moved away from real food that much?

Let me ask you, do you dislike flavours, textures and eating in general? Then why choose food without soul, those that add little or no nutritional value for your body and mind? Food is fuel for the body, but that does not mean we need to disguise it as garden pellets in premium priced cardboard and quickly funnel it into the gob with a straw. 

Highly processed, packaged foods are often rich in toxic chemicals, sugar, inferior carbohydrates, harmful fats and have little or no good quality protein. Want a tired, lack lustre, dull mind and body that struggles to get moving? One that does not comply with your needs and desires, then take the packaged, processed route. If you crave more energy, clearer thinking, a life well lived and dropping dead quickly rather than a life laden with chronic illness and frustration then opt for real food. Food that may take a tiny bit of effort to prepare but fuel that scratches your back and looks after you long term.

Keep it real, stop paying for clever marketing, save your dollars, invest in your health and enjoy what pristine health without illness feels and tastes like… Capish?

2. Adding the Sweet Stuff

biggest breakfast mistakesDid you grow up on toast, jam, muesli, cereal, coloured, flavoured milk, muffins and milo? Me too. Well it was more that I associated breakfast with these kinds of foods. Sweet and often laced with gluten.

When I ask some patients to take the gluten, processed foods and sugar out from their diet, the most common statement expressed is “What the hell will I have for breakfast then?” Why not have a meal that you would have for lunch or dinner for breakfast?

It is not uncommon for me to have a protein source such as a fillet of fish, sardines, mackerel, grass fed lamb, beef etc with vegetables and a healthy fat source. For example sardines with a simple side of avocado, asparagus or spinach. Leftovers from dinner also make a fabulous breakfast option. Last nights grass fed lamb mince and veg casserole makes me a satisfied woman indeed. Change your perception and you’ll have a broader range of fabulous, healthy foods to choose from. It really is that simple. Think outside of that sweet-box, open your palate and start playing with variety.

Does a piece of toast with strawberry jam keep you satiated and focused until lunch time? I didn’t think so. A meal made up like this, with a hefty dose of inferior carbohydrates, sugar, no protein or fat will not provide the fuel needed to support healthy brain function, stabilize your blood sugar levels and will certainly have you ravenous within the next couple of hours.  Put simply your attention and focus will be weak, your mood may be low, your hunger rife and energy unpredictable. Now wouldn’t you rather use that brain fuel on more important things than thinking about how you can satiate your hunger. That to-do-list will never get done now will it? Stabilize your blood sugar with well rounded meal choices and therefore stabilize your mood, energy and cravings.

3. No breakfast

low calorie dietHaving a nutritious breakfast is ideal for a healthy metabolism. If you miss breakfast you might find yourself lacking focus, feeling lethargic and unable to concentrate. You may also find yourself reaching for packaged, processed, convenience meals mid morning or even over consuming during lunch. A recent study has shown that up to 17% of those who ate breakfast did not consume as much food or beverages during lunch.

Missing breakfast leads to unbalanced cravings. Those who skip breakfast tend to consume 40% more sugar during the day and 45% less vegetables. Cravings, high sugar and lack of nutrients will compromise your overall health. You may experience low mood, a foggy mind, poor memory, concentration, weight gain, morbid obesity, digestive issues and chronic, long term illness.

Studies have shown that skipping breakfast causes insulin resistance. This can affect our body’s ability to burn fat for energy and can certainly increase your risk of diabetes. Furthermore it decreases your sensitivity to insulin at your next meal. Which means you would need to make sure that you are consuming low glycaemic index foods at your next meal. Those who eat breakfast have a much lower rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals which protects them from heart disease and diabetes and supports fat loss also.

The body thrives on good nutrition soon after you get up because it has essentially fasted during the night and your glycogen stores are very low. Choose your food wisely. Avoid foods that do not digest and absorb easily, such as processed carbohydrates and sugar. Meals that are rich in fibre, fat and moderate protein are best. Organic eggs, avocado and sweet potato is one example or a smoothie with protein (180 nutrition protein powder is great for this), avocado, coconut water, cacao and berries are great options and will give your body the ammunition it needs to control hunger and cravings.

Food choices like these and having breakfast reverse the bodies desire to store fat because it helps to keep your insulin levels from spiking. Instead the body will use fat for energy. You are better able to manage your health, fitness and weight, your blood sugar can be controlled and you increase the level of your metabolic hormone, incretin which positively impacts your health by decreasing blood glucose levels.

4. Eating on the run

exercise window weight lossScoffing down food or eating whilst the body is literally moving is an enemy of digestion. Personally  I struggle with this one. Just call me hoover… a Dyson perhaps. If you are anything like me you are often in a “syhurry” (sydney-hurry), early work starts, early yoga session, early meetings and excitable, overachieving ant in pant syndrome that has been there for years.

The process of chewing is an extremely important part of digestion. Chewing allows big particles of food to be broken down into smaller particles that your body can absorb and use. To shirk on proper chewing is no different to starting a game of rugby without the kick off. Gasp! I shudder at the thought? The entire game would be cursed. Minimal chew means cursed digestion and elimination.

Foods that are not broken down well enter the blood stream and can cause a wide range of health problems. These undigested particles can also feed harmful bacteria and fungi. Your body retains much more nutrients if you chew more and less is lost.

Chewing slowly will help you maintain a healthy weight. Your brain will have enough time (generally around 20 minutes) to communicate with the stomach that it is full. As a result you are less likely to over-consume and have more control over your portion sizes.

Taking the time to chew your food properly improves your digestion in many ways. Your saliva contains digestive enzymes, such as lingual lipase which helps break down fats. Exposing the food you eat to these enzymes support the digestive processes in your stomach and small intestine. Saliva also lubricates food which makes its passage through your esophagus easier. The process of chewing predigests and liquefies your food into smaller particles, making it easier to digest for use in your body. 

Improperly chewed foods require a lot of energy to be broken down and is quite demanding on the body. Large particles of improperly chewed food may remain undigested when it enters your intestines. These particles will putrefy (rot) and lead to a host of digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, bad breath, pain and cramping.

Just the simple act of spending an extra 5 minutes when eating your meal can make a big difference.

In summary, if you would like to welcome more energy, vitality and overall good health into your life I suggest breaking your fast with a highly nutritious meal and enjoying every morsel for at least a month. Reap the rewards and no doubt you’ll create a new habit that your body and mind will thank you for.

Lynda Griparic NaturopathLynda is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry.

Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Discover more healthy recipes here

Understanding Adrenal Fatigue & the Top 10 Tips to Beat it

Adrenal_fatigue

Guy: Have you ever considered that stress is actually burning you out, interfering with sleep and holding weight loss strategies hostage? I’ve spoken to so many people that say they simple can’t shift that stubborn body fat, even though they are eating well and exercising every day.

Immediately what springs to my mind is stress, cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue. Naturopath Tania Flack has covered them here in this fantastic post.

When you think of being stressed, it’s easy to imagine someone flogging themselves at work till all hours trying to finish that essential deadline, but there are so many other factors to consider:

  • Overtraining
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Psychological stress (worry, fear,anger etc)
  • to name but a few…

So if you feel like you just can’t shift those extra kilos and are constantly running up hill, then I highly recommend you check out this post! Over to Tania…

What is Adrenal Exhaustion?

The adrenal glands help to give us our get up and go. But if you are continually surfing on adrenaline and running on empty they can eventually start to under function. So what is Adrenal Exhaustion and what can we do about it?

adrenal_glandsThe adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are responsible for the secretion of adrenaline, cortisol, DHEA and other hormones that are required to help your body function during times of stress, whether it is physical, emotional or mental. Chronic stress causes the adrenal glands to become exhausted and so does the person. The whole body including the immune system becomes weak and vulnerable. Adrenal Exhaustion can be very detrimental to your over all health. It causes diminished cortisol and DHEA levels which can adversely affect thyroid and sex hormones.

Cortisol

Cortisol is one of the most important adrenal hormones. Normal cortisol levels are responsible for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, it mobilises fat and protein stores for mores energy and has an anti-inflammatory action in the body. Cortisol has an effect on most blood cells that participate in immune of inflammatory reactions as well as having an effect on blood pressure. It has an effect electrolyte levels in heart tisse as well, heart beat, and influences the central nervous system controlling mood and behavior.

During the early stage of adrenal stress, elevated cortisol levels contribute to weight gain, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, altered brain checmistry (which causes depression and anxiety), it also has an effect on insulin resistance and osteoporosis to name a few. During later stages of adrenal exhaustion the once high levels of cortisol eventually fall to low levels where it is insufficient to adequately normal function and good health.

DHEA Insomnia

Another important adrenal hormone that declines during periods of stress is DHEA which is considered the “youth or anti-aging hormone”. DHEA’s main actions are through conversion into other more potent hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. It also appears to have its own action on the immune system and endothelial cells helping to boost the immune system and help protect against atherosclerosis.

If production of DHEA decreases under stress and is not rectified, a hormonal cascade can occur, resulting in a deficiency of sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. If these hormones get too low then a whole range of other symptoms and problems can occur such as PMS, menopause, andropause and hypothyroidism.

3 Stages of Adrenal Exhaustion

Stage 1 – Alarm (fight or flight)

Fight or flightIn this stage the body launches into the fight or flight response by releasing elevated levels of noradrenalin, the “anti-stress hormone” cortisol and the”youth/anti-aging hormone” DHEA. In short bursts this is a healthy reaction and the adrenal cope well, but as stress continues the adrenals are put into overdrive to cover the early signs and symptoms of fatigue. The pancreas is also effected, blood sugar becomes imbalanced, resulting in low energy. Many use a quick fix of either sugar, carbohydrate or caffeine at this stage to over come fatigue.

Stage 2 – Resistance (fatigue & sleeping difficulties)

not sleepingWith chronic or severe stress the adrenals become unable to cope. Many people carry out their every day activities but really start to struggle with fatigue. The body needs more rest and is slower to recover. Anxiety starts to set in and people become more irritable and less able to cope with stress. Sleep difficulties are common and the body starts to show other symptoms such as hormonal problems and hypothyroid type symptoms like cold intolerance, sluggish metabolism and weight gain. Often the thyroid gland is effected at this stage.

Stage 3 – Exhaustion (shut-down)

burnt outAs adrenal function weakens further the adrenals are no longer able to keep up and cortisol output starts to decline. The body enters a survival stage where its main aim is to conserve energy in order to survive. This happen very gradually. The body starts taking energy from tissues, this stage results in muscle breakdown and protein wasting. Exercise tolerance is reduced and depression, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia is common. Every major system of the body is effected including the immune, hormonal, neurological and metabolic systems.

Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Exhaustion are usually a combination of some of the following:

  • Ongoing fatigue and exhaustion
  • Feeling rundown
  • Decreasing ability to cope with stress
  • Poor stamina and exercise intolerance
  • Light headed when standing up
  • Difficulty getting out of bed
  • Non refreshing sleep and sleep disturbance
  • Feeling mentally foggy, difficulty concentrating
  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood pressure
  • Craving salt, sugar and carbohydrates
  • Weight gain around the abdomen
  • Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypoglyceamia
  • More prone to illness and infection, slow to recover
  • Increasing hormone problems
  • Hot flushes
  • Depression and low mood
  • Poor digestion
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Adrenal Exhaustion can lead to….

Ongoing severe stress and adrenal depletion can lead to serious health problems and acute adrenal insufficiency. Generally, the earlier symptoms of adrenal exhaustion (Stages 1 + 2) are debilitating enough to force people to seek help. The earlier it is identified and treated the better the chance of recovery.

What Causes Adrenal Exhaustion?

  • Any major life stress, work, relationship, family etc
  • Physical, emotional or psychological stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Overexertion and over work
  • Poor diet
  • Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and recreational drugs
  • Excess sugar and high carbohydrate diet
  • Acute or chronic allergies, infection or illness
  • Toxins, pollutants and exposure to heavy metals
  • Fear and anxiety
  • death or serious illness of a loved one

The link between Stress and Adrenal Exhaustion

Many people don’t realise that the body responds to different kinds of stressors in the same way, so when we talk about stress many people only consider emotional stress.

Here are some examples of the types of stress that can contribute:

  • Environmental Stress: Heat, cold, noise, light
  • Chemical Stress: Pollution, toxins, chemicals, drugs, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
  • Physical Stress: Overexertion, trauma, infection, injury, surgery
  • Psychological Stress: Worry, fretting, anxiety, anger, agitation
  • Biochemical Stress: Nutritional deficiencies, excess sugar, high carbohydrate diet, dehydration
  • Emotional Stress: Any major life event, death, birth, changes in relationships, work

Adrenal Exhaustion and Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are commonly associated adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal hormones are involved in cognitive function, mood and mental states in complex ways. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function is effected during depression. Stress, with associated high cortisol and DHEA has been associated with anxiety and depression, and people with low levels of DHEA and cortisol have been seen to experience depression, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and poor memory recall. Fluctuations in night time cortisol add to sleep disruption experienced associated with depression.

How is Adrenal Exhaustion Detected?

Low levels are detected by either a blood, urine or salivary hormone test. Repeated cortisol levels are usually taken through out the day to get an accurate picture of adrenal status.

What Other Tests are Useful?

As adrenal exhaustion effects many body systems, it is important to have a thorough check up if you have been diagnosed with low adrenal function. It is important to look at hormonal, cardiovascular and mental health as well as assessing your ideal weight.

Can Adrenal Exhaustion be Reversed?

Adrenal health can be restored, providing steps are taken to address stress, and that diet and lifestyle are optimal. Many herbal medicines and nutritional supplements are effective in addressing low adrenal function. It can take some time to achieve results, but the quicker it is identified the faster you can address it. It is always easier to address adrenal fatigue in its earlier stages, so if you feel you you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue seek professional help as soon as possible.

Top 10 Tips for Beating Adrenal Fatigue

  1. Stress: It is imperative that you address all stressors in your life, if emotional stress has played a role, its time to get some counselling.
  2. Lifestyle: Its easy to push yourself if you’re used to surfing on adrenaline, but taking a good look at your lifestyle and making some positive changes really helps
  3. Relaxation Techniques: Whether it be yoga, meditation or cooking, find what works to relax you and make time for it every week.
  4. Exercise: Probably the last thing you’ll feel like doing but regular gentle exercise it a true stress buster.
  5. Diet: Out with the fast food and in with regular, nutritious meals, nutritional deficiencies are just another form of stress, so eat well. Get some professional advice on this if you don’t know where to start.
  6. Avoid Stimulants: Alcohol, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs have all got to go.
  7. Address any other health problems: Chronic allergies, infections and leaky gut are all a source of stress on the body, get these sorted out asap!
  8. Hydrate: Drink at least 8 large glasses of water per day, dehydration adds to your stress load
  9. Just say no: Don’t over commit your self, manage your work/life balance and be a bit selfish so you can give yourself time to recover your adrenal health
  10. Get some Professional Advice: See your Naturopath, herbal and nutritional medicine can make the world of difference. Don’t rely on over the counter products and guesswork. A well balanced treatment plan from a professional Naturopath, including dietary, lifestyle, herbal and nutritional medicine will really help.

If you want to know more, you can contact Naturopath Tania Flack here.

Have you ever suffering from adrenal fatigue or have overcome it? How about over-training? Would love to hear your thoughts below, Guy

beat fatigue – shop now

Does DNA testing hold the key to the perfect diet? The results

Episode #8

By Guy Lawrence

This is  just one of the questions we ask leading naturopath and nutritionist Tania Flack as we go over our results from our DNA test.

If you have no idea what the DNA testing is, listen to this podcast first: The ultimate blueprint for better health. I’ve time coded the bullet points so can you jump straight to the bits that interest you most in the video if you’re short on time.

For more information on getting the DNA test. Click here.

Download or subscribe to us on iTunes here.

More

Age slower & happier with DNA testing


By Guy Lawrence

Ever wondered how someone can eat pork pies all day (I certainly wouldn’t encourage this either way!) and still have sub 10% body fat? Then there’s those out there that simply look at a pizza and gain weight. In short it comes down to our DNA and gene expression.

This video post is a teaser trailer of a DNA test myself & Stu recently undertook (and waiting for results). In a nutshell it is a personalised, preventative and predictive nutritional health. Pretty cool hey…

Some of the benefits are:

  • Age more slowly
  • Higher quality of life
  • Specific nutrition based therapy
  • No unnecessary analysis
  • Active role in lifestyle changes with your new found knowledge More

Is bacon healthy?

Is bacon healthy

By Guy Lawrence

Is bacon healthy? This is one topic that comes with much opinion and debate to say the least (along with most nutritional topics for that matter!). It’s a great topic and one I wanted to touch on as I attended the Low Carb Down Under seminar in Sydney. This topic along with so many others were covered in the Q&A sessions with all the guest speakers.

The short video below is with Jimmy Moore and David Gillespie sharing their thoughts a little regarding animal feed and how it effects the fats of the animal. More