elimination diet

Some (possible) reasons you're not losing weight.

If you've known me a while then you know I've really struggled with the whole weight loss thing since my son was born (5 1/2 years ago!)...and if you're new here (WELCOME! I'M SOOOOOO HAPPY YOU'RE HERE!) well then...now you know, too!

I think about weight loss a lot. Here are the two main things I think:

1) We all need to stop worrying about our weight and just love the heck out of our bodies because seriously people, THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL and TRULY AMAZING. They get up every day and just DO SHIT. Wow. Like--I'm TYPING WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE KEYBOARD RIGHT NOW. If that's not magic I don't know what is. So yeah, can we please stop obsessing about our weight already?!

2) It's okay to want to lose weight. Some of us may actually be healthier if we lost weight so yes, that's important (that said--being "overweight" does not necessarily mean you're unhealthy and being "the right weight" doesn't mean you're healthy. So let's promise to get rid of those stereotypes right now, shall we?). BUT--just because we may agree with the BODY POSITIVE movement and really understand that it is crucial to LOVE our BEAUTIFUL BODIES (that do so much for us--see #1) doesn't mean we need to then feel bad about ourselves if we want to lose a few pounds--right? Right. 

Here's the thing-of course it is okay to want to lose some weight. But within that context I believe you need to:

1) Make sure you love and adore you body--and appreciate it--AS IT IS TODAY.

2) Be in PARTNERSHIP with your body--don't be at war with it! If you love and adore it than you can both (your body and you) agree that you'll join forces to lose weight and be on the SAME PAGE. 

3) BE REALISTIC. I talk about this in one of my classes of the 28 Day Total Food Transformation...(which is coming up and I totally want you to join, BTW) you need to GET REAL about YOUR BODY. If you're curvy and voluptuous then wishing you had a tomboy vibe is truly going to make you a very unhappy person AND you'll never get there. Or let's say you have this perfectly decent body but you want a MODEL'S body...you know what I mean. Well, here's the thing--models and actors either simply have genetics that make their bodies that way without effort OR they work really really hard at it. So--in reality--do you have time to spend 2 hours at the gym every day? Or maybe more? Can you hire a personal chef? Yeah. Neither can I! So find a way to understand YOUR body. YOU GET TO DECIDE ON YOUR BEAUTY STANDARD. 

kay, okay--so the above isn't why you opened up this email. You opened up this email to see if you could find the answer to that nagging question, "Why an't I lose weight?!"

Here's some possible reasons why:

TOXINS. Please don't roll your eyes! It is true. Your liver (one of your body's five detox organs) can get totally toxed-out and if it is, your body will have a very hard time functioning optimally. Your liver supports fat burning and hormone balancing, super important stuff for a balanced, healthy body that can perform well and release unwanted weight.

2) INFLAMMATION.  Inflammation comes in many forms and is bad for more reasons than just weight gain (i.e. DISEASE). But in this case, we are talking water retention. People roll their eyes at this but holding onto excess water due to poor diet will literally have you gaining between 5 - 15 pounds! On top of that, you will look puffy and bloated. It's fine to retain water--we need water in our bodies, obviously. But TOO MUCH retention is a sign that we are eating things we shouldn't be eating. Allergies or food sensitivities could absolutely be to blame and when you eliminate them from your diet you DROP THE WEIGHT. (If it isn't obvious this reason directly relates to #1).

3) SLEEP. Meaning you're not sleeping enough. This is HUGE. Why? When you don't sleep enough your cortisol levels rise. This stress hormone is associated with weight gain, particularly around the middle. Cortisol also sends signals to your brain TO EAT. Lack of sleep also increases the hormone, ghrelin (this hormone makes you hungry) and decreases leptin (this hormone makes you feel full). Isn't that a fun combination?!

One more thing about lack of sleep--you know how you feel groggy and foggy and lazy when you haven't slept well? Well researchers at the University of Chicago coined the phrase "metabolic grogginess" which basically means that your fat cells feel groggy, too!  Actually what the study shows is that after four days of bad sleep, your body's ability to properly use insulin is decreased by more than 30%. The short version of this result is that you store more fat and you tend to store it in bad places like your liver (see #1).

4) YOU'RE NOT EATING WHOLE FOODS. It is true. Not all calories are created equal. If you're eating a lot of processed foods and sugar, your body isn't getting the nutrition it needs (so it will have lots of cravings as a result) AND it has to work incredibly hard to process the food you're giving to it. Most likely it doesn't even recognize what you're giving it as food! So you'll feel hungry even after you've eaten! Eating nutritionally dense, whole foods will have you feeling fuller faster and for longer AND your body processes that food much easier--so it flows through your system in the way you want it to (as opposed to hanging around on your hips!). Beware of things like "gluten free" processed foods and the like--just because something is gluten free DOES NOT mean it is healthy! 

5) HORMONES. Ah, hormones. Especially as we get older they get out of whack. Remember when you could drop 10 pounds in a blink of an eye? If that's not happening anymore than most likely you're experiencing changes in your body that go with age (its' okay--please don't fret about aging--the alternative sucks!). Starting at around age 35 (especially for women but for men, too) our metabolism starts to slow down. Around 40 it drops some more. Also around 40, women lose about 1/2 a pound of lean muscle a year and GAIN about a pound of fat. And guess what? That fat is different from the fat of our youth--it takes up more space! HOW FUN IS THAT???!!! Sigh. This is where being REALISTIC about your body really comes into play. Accept and love yourself. You're body is changing but you are still you. At this point, eating whole foods becomes crucial as well as REGULAR EXERCISE (which helps to balance the hormones) both cardio and strength training. I could do a whole class on this...maybe I should! Also, studies show that eating protein at every meal is helpful (but make sure you're mostly eating veggies and fruits!). 

6) DEHYDRATION. h, man! I talk about this ALL THE TIME and I'm 100% certain that most people still don't drink enough water!! DRINK MORE WATER! Right now! Go have a glass of water...I'll wait...water is key for health and weight loss:

  • ater helps maximize our physical performance
  • Water effects our energy and brain function
  • Water supports proper digestion and is one of the keys in eliminating constipation
  • Water can increase satiety
  • Water can boost metabolism (and has been shown to do so by up to 30% in some studies

7) YOU ARE EATING TOO MUCH. Yup. I know--shocking, right? But here's the thing, a lot of people are not aware of how much they are eating, especially if they are not MINDFUL when they are eating. In fact, mindless eating adds up to unneeded calories. This holds true for junk food or healthy food. TW-I KNOW I'M GUILTY OF THIS! Especially working from home with my kitchen RIGHT THERE. I eat super healthy but my metabolism is low and I have hypothyroidism so even a small amount of too many calories stays with me. Sigh. SUPER FRUSTRATING. Oh--and my husband eats like 4,000 calories a day and never gains a pound. Double sigh.

8) YOU ARE NOT EXERCISING. uess what?! If you want to lose weight YOU NEED TO EXERCISE. Do both cardio and strength training. Do I really need to say more about this? It's really important for your heart health and bone health as well. SO JUST DO IT!

9) MACRONUTRIENTS. You need to eat a proper amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates EVERY DAY. And by carbohydrates I mean fruits and vegetables. Also, please stop being afraid of fat. Eat it! Except trans fat. NEVER eat trans fat. 

10) YOU ARE NOT EATING RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY. hat does that mean? When we eat food that is hard on our body/hard for our bodies to digest, we cause break down. Over time that break down becomes worse and it shows up in all sorts of ways. We can get eczema, acne, our hair thins, our skin looks terrible, we sleep poorly or sleep all the time but never feel rested, we get GERD, high blood pressure, gut imbalances, thyroid issues, liver and gallbladder issues...etc etc...and we GAIN WEIGHT. All this tends to happen slowly, over time, so we assume it is about aging or maybe we think it is just bad luck. NO.  NO NO NO. I wish I had more time to write about this but this post is already way too long. Listen--about 80% of your immune system is in your gut! When you eat the wrong foods and you mess with your gut, that is affected. Stuff starts to go wrong. BUT--when you eliminate those things from your diet your BODY IS AMAZING and can start to heal. I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN WITH MY CLIENTS AND IT IS TOTALLY AWESOME. 

So how do you know what your body is having a hard time with?

'm glad you asked! That's where my 28 Day Total Food Transformation comes in. I walk you through it step by step AND you're doing it with all these cool people and it is actually really fun. And the results are phenomenal.

So I hope you do my program because I know it will totally be amazing and life-changing for you.

BUT--if you don't want to do my program, here's what you do: you do an elimination diet. That's essentially what my program is. First you eliminate all potential allergens for at least a week (for serious medical conditions you'll want to go longer than that-email me if you have questions). Then you slowly and methodically reintroduce those allergens back into your diet, one by one. You monitor for reactions. You LEARN. IT IS SO SIMPLE YET SO POWERFUL. 

Okay, gorgeous! That's enough for today!

Go out there and TAKE UP SPACE! STAND UP! SPEAK OUT! MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!

Also, EAT HEALTHY FOOD!

Much love,

Elijah

 

Hello from my (imperfect) kitchen!

HELLO! This probably isn't what you expected, LOL!

This morning I sat down to do work and research a possible WEBINAR that I'd like to do. I've been thinking about this for a while--my favorite thing about my job is INTERACTING WITH MY COMMUNITY (love you!) and a webinar would be a great way to bring valuable information to my people and getting to interact with my community--and also (hopefully) attract new people into my community. Because bringing new people into the fold is an important part of my business and I'm often thinking about how I can do that.

My son, Beck (5 1/2) went to a Lego camp today (theme of the camp is "Chemistry"...not sure how that is going to play out!). He's there until 3pm so I have a short day to do a lot of work (which is my norm!). Scott, my hubby, took Beck to camp and then came home to do some work as well. We both sat down at the kitchen table.

 

Here's Scott focusing intently on his work! Behind him are all our holiday cards we've received. To his left is our Wall of Art that Beck started. A lot of the pictures are Beck's but many other people have contributed--anyone that visits our home is invited to draw or paint a picture to hang! Scott, my sister, Erin, my , Josh, his friend, Jordan, my niece, Jennie and I have all contributed to the wall!

 

And here I am in all my non-glory! Still in my pajamas (but wearing a yummy sweater over them), no make up on...I hadn't even brushed my hair! And YES--that's a cup of espresso next to me! I don't drink coffee but I do drink espresso (coffee is too acidic for me). Sometimes I give it up and sometimes I don't...it's something I'm learning to live with!

So you see...I'm not perfect. That's important to know because in today's world we are bombarded with images of perfection all day long and boy can that make us feel like WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.

But guess what?! Those images--whether from commercial ads or people's Facebook feed or Instagram feed (or whatever the latest social media trends are out there) are CURATED. THEY ARE NOT THE MOMENT TO MOMENT REALITY OF PEOPLE'S LIVES. Now--you know this in your heart but your mind...your mind will try and trick you into believing that those images are TRUTH. That somehow, everyone out there has:

  • Perfect bodies
  • Perfect clothes
  • Perfect homes
  • Perfect jobs
  • Perfect skin
  • Perfectly toned abs
  • Perfect children (ha!)
  • Perfect relationships

So to disabuse you of the notion of perfection in my world (not sure if you had that notion but just in case!), I wanted to share a slice of my life. I'll also show you my kitchen, which is truly one of the ugliest kitchens I know of! Truth is, I have often sought to HIDE how un-pretty my kitchen is from you guys!! (That said, I've also dreamed of creating a YouTube channel called, "Beautiful Food from an Ugly Kitchen."!!)

 

Oy. HARVEST GOLD. Yup. Our home was built in 1970 and this is the original kitchen with the exception of the stainless steel dishwasher! I didn't arrange anything for the photo--note spoon left on counter (not sure who left that!).

Our stove has only TWO working burners and it isn't repairable because...well...1970. The hood to the stove hasn't worked for months. The tile...well, it pains me daily to see it, LOL! That's a pot of oatmeal on the stove left by Scott. The window looks out to a little "courtyard" that is actually sort of cool--we have a builtin BBQ out there.

There's very little storage in my kitchen which drives me mad! Note the mason jars lined up against the wall to the right of the (harvest gold) sink! What I wouldn't give more more counter space!

Speaking of counter space..

 

This is a little something we've actually titled our "clutter counter"! How many of my OCD peeps out there are going crazy seeing this?! Truthfully--it isn't in that bad a shape today! Often it is worse! Check out the lefthand side wall--see that thing that looks like a radio built into the wall? THAT IS AN INTERCOM SYSTEM! OMG! It was put into the house in...you guessed it...1970! It doesn't work (or barely works) anymore yet there it is, a huge eyesore. Although it is slightly amusing!

To the right you can see my purse with my red wallet sticking out. The peppermint bark was a gift from friends--we aren't going to eat it (LOVE YOU Kathy and David! Sorry!)--Scott is taking it to his work (is it bad that we pawn off stuff we would never eat to co-workers?!). The piece of paper stuck to the oh-so-brown cupboard says, "EVOLVE--DISCONTINUE" LOL! Sounds so funny but what that is, is an organization I've been donating $39 to quarterly for the past couple of years but I want to discontinue it and donate that money in a different direction this year...I still haven't done it despite the big ole note on the cabinet (I'm busy!). The white refrigerator isn't from the 70s--I think more like early 90s.

SO. YEAH. Super IMPERFECT. Somehow in this crazy small, disorganized and highly unattractive kitchen, I manage to make some killer green smoothies and other yummy, healthy meals. I hope there's some small amount of inspiration there for you!

I will also add that due to the fact that everything in our kitchen is falling apart, we are FINALLY going to be updating it. But that feels SCARY because it is a lot of money and seriously--I've never done anything like that before (spent that kind of money, ordered new appliances, etc...). But we have to do it! I mean...only TWO WORKING BURNERS on the stove! (although last Thursday we hosted a Chanukah party for 65 friends and fried up 250 latkes on those two burners! WOOT!). If you have any experience updating a kitchen and want to lend me advice, feel free to do so!

So what's the point of all this? Well, first and foremost--NOBODY'S LIFE IS AS PERFECT AS IT SEEMS. So STOP comparing yourself and remember that EVERYONE IS TOTALLY MESSED UP!Hee hee! I actually think that's probably mostly true to one degree or another.

BUT SERIOUSLY--one of the biggest things we all suffer from in life is the idea that we are "not enough". And that's simply not true. You are beautiful and YOU ARE ENOUGH. I promise. Readjust your thinking on that because you know what? THE WORLD NEEDS YOU! And the more you think, "I'm not good enough etc etc" the more you hold yourself back from KICKING ASS!

Okay...signing off now. Don't forget to come hang out with me and others from this magnificent tribe in the 28 Day Total Food Transformation. Eating right truly does help you to KICK ASS in this world. I promise.

Sending you SOOOOOOO MUCH LOVE!

Elijah

Your Genetics on Coffee-How the Genes You Have Affect that Cup of Joe!

This is first part in a series on nutrigenomics—how food affects are genes (and how genes affect how we assimilate what we eat).

COFFEE! OMG soooooo many of us love it so much! We feel like our day wouldn’t be complete without it! Others among us never touch the stuff.

Many of you may know that when you participate in my 28 Day Total Food Transformation that I ask that you get off coffee for the duration of the program. When people find this out there is a huge collective GROAN! For the most part, people have taken on that challenge. And of those people, the vast majority experience huge benefits when they take their bodies off the caffeine cycle including better sleep, more even energy throughout the day, improved weight loss (I know this is true for me) and much more…including that “AH HA” that THEY CAN DO IT! It’s a great feeling of accomplishment.

Setting the controversy around coffee aside (we will deal with that in another email) I want to tell you about really cool research that has discovered specific genes that affect how you experience caffeinated coffee!

My work is based entirely around the concept ofBIOINDIVIDUALITY. This means that all of our bodies are unique and what works for one may not work for others. I help people figure out what their specific and unique body needs to thrive.

Nutrigenomics is the scientific study of how what we eat and drink (nutrition) affects our genes. It’s trying to discover how different people’s genetic make-up is affected by what they eat.

Scientists at Harvard conducted the largest genome-wide association study on coffee drinking to date (Chasman and Cornelis et al 2015) have been looking into how an individual’s genetic make-up influences their response to coffee. So far there have been EIGHT GENES discovered that relate to coffee consumption.

FAST AND SLOW CAFFEINE METABOLIZERS:

They discovered two genes that are involved with the metabolization of caffeine, POR and ABCG2. Because these genes are encoded with proteins involved with metabolizing caffeine, people with these genes tend to break down (metabolize) caffeine faster and therefore tend to be able to drink more coffee easily. They basically metabolize the caffeine faster and better than those without these genes!

Caffeine is actually primarily metabolized in our liver (which is a major detox organ—important to know!). In the liver is an enzyme that does a lot of the work of breaking this down called cytochrome P450, or CYP1A2. This enzyme has a variant (CYP1A2*1A) that metabolized caffeine FAST! So all of this is connected and it explains why some among us can drink a cup of coffee and then go to bed, no problem! (Conversely, CYP1A2*1F is a slow metabolizer of caffeine so if you find you need to cut consumption early in the day to ensure a good night of sleep, you may be carrying this variant!).

TOLERANCE

Along the same lines, the scientists confirmed that two genes, AHR and CYP1A2 (and yes, I know that above I refer to CYP1A2 as an enzyme—and it is…from DNA, to RNA, to protein…the enzyme is the protein expression of gene! Yeah, I know…just trust me) that relate to our tolerance and how well we process the caffeine in coffee.

Because AHR can turn on CYP1A2, people with this combination of gene variant can metabolize caffeine faster and therefore easily tolerate more cups of coffee during the day!

 

HAPPINESS

Ah, the joy of coffee! There may be a reason that coffee makes you happy! The scientists are looking at two regions of our DNA near genes BDNF and SLC6A4 to see if there’s a connection…and it’s looking like there is!

BDNF is responsible for serotonin and dopamine (pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters). These two variants seem to reinforce the positive affects of coffee’s molecular properties—and put you into a good mood!

I think about these genes a lot because there are many times when a cup of coffee really seems to make me HAPPY!

PLEASURE/STIMULATION

Connected to our happy feelings that come from drinking coffee are two genes related to pleasure or “getting a kick” from drinking coffee. It’s a subtle difference and scientists are still looking to understand the connection fully. Two variants found near genes GCKR and MLXIPL are assumed to be associated with a “psychostimulant effect” of coffee drinking! People with these genes tend to drink more coffee because of the associated stimulating effect they receive from it!

So that’s your mini-overview of genetics and coffee drinking!

What’s the take-away?

All of us are individuals and have a unique genetic make-up.Depending on that genetic make-up, we will experience food and drink in a very unique way—OUR PERSONAL WAY.

I really love this because sometimes we can feel a little crazy or annoyed that we seem to have such different bodies and different tastes and reactions to food and drink than our friends and family. There’s a reason for it and science is just beginning to unravel it all!

You don’t need to get your genome tested to figure it all out—you just need to PAY ATTENTION. You KNOW when food messes with you and you KNOW when food makes you feel good! TRUST THAT. There’s a reason for it!

That is also what my 28 Day Total Food Transformation does for you. It helps you figure it out. And when you do, all sorts of symptoms melt away. I’ve seen it happen time and time again and seriously, it can feel MIRACULOUS. I invite you to check out the program. It’s really powerful and I know it will help you feel better than you’ve ever imagined.

 

 

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