EE 006: The Proper Care and Feeding of the EXECUpreneur: Steps 4, 5 & 6
These 3 steps are your secret weapon for changing what you’re made of at a cellular level. This trio literally shifts your metabolism, which we learned in previous posts is how you create energy to run your body and brain, and they altogether change what you’re made of.
Let’s keep the Proper Care and Feeding of the Modern Day EXECUpreneur series rolling…
In this post I’ll share my protein hierarchy and why it’s critical to be getting enough of the right stuff to optimize your body composition… (Step #4). We’ll move from making sure you get enough, to ensuring you stay below your setpoint on this macronutrient in Step #5…if we are consuming too much of this seemingly innocuous macro (short for macronutrient), all you’re doing to shift the metabolism is being sabotaged. And today we’ll round out the conversation with Step #6, which is my favorite! (Don’t tell the others!)
Listen, this is my favorite Step because I spent decades avoiding this “friendly”, and advised thousands to do the same (still forgiving myself for that one)…and I am quite sure you have avoided it too. We bought into Conventional Wisdom and got robbed…when you embrace #6, you’ll get your groove back and leave that brain fog in the past, where it belongs!
Keep this fact in mind, your brain is your #1 ally in business. Seriously, she is. Stop treating her like an afterthought with these 3 Steps of my 12 Step Program for a Body & Mind that just won’t quit!!
Step #4: Protein Power
You are built out of protein, and it is critical you get enough in your diet and that your body is set up to recycle old proteins and make new ones. Think Goldilocks…you don’t want too little, and too much is just not necessary. Not to mention, a waste of food money to boot.
Protein is critical to life. We must get the lion’s share of our requirement from the foods we eat. There are so many varied sources from which we can derive these life-giving amino acids, and that’s great news! You can use any kind of protein to meet your needs, though some are better than others when it comes to accompanying carb content. Change up your protein sources from time-to-time. This helps the body get the various amino acids we can only derive from our food.
Protein is critical for muscle formation. In a sense, proteins are bricks in the construction of your body. Proteins are broken down into amino acids then utilized for tissue repair and maintenance, energy, hormones, enzymes, transportation and storage of molecules along with the creation of antibodies. You can see why experts recommend you get an adequate amount.
When planning your meals, your number one priority is to eat enough protein to maintain and rebuild your lean body mass along with all those other valuable processes mentioned above. Each body is a little different. Exercise in a fasted state to stack the deck in your favor of protein assimilation.
When choosing animal protein sources, look to the way the animal was raised. What was it fed? In what kind of environment did it live? Was there freedom for movement?
Since we are eating the flesh of that animal or the egg from that animal, what it ate and how it lived affects us directly. Eat the highest quality protein you can afford. I recommend local, pasture-raised meat and eggs when available. If not available, aim for items that state organic, pasture-raised and no antibiotics used.
Buy the highest quality meat/fowl/eggs you can budget and find where you live. You can look into optimizing your choices in time. Some locations have an abundance of farm-available meats/fowl/eggs while others live in a food desert. Over time, you’ll save money eating how I recommend. You can reallocate funds to improve the quality of your food.
There is a criminal amount of deception when it comes to marketing foods, so do a little digging into the company. Some companies have better reputations than others.
HINT: free-range is not all that free, nor is cage-free when it comes to chickens…if you’ve not seen Food, Inc., I highly recommend watching it. Eye-opening to say the least!
The chart below lays out my hierarchy for protein choices in top/down order from most ideal to least.
|Wild game / non-polluted lands||Wild fish and shellfish / non-polluted bodies of water||Pastured / bug & seed fed… able to be true to its bird-ness||Eggs from your backyard or neighbor’s|
|Pasture-raised…able to be true to its animal-ness||Farmed in open waters||Pastured / grain fed||Eggs from local farmer / Farmer’s Market|
|Free-range (can still be from a CAFO…it’s just not restrained most of the day)||Farmed in confinement in either salt or fresh water||Grain fed / “Cage Free” or “Free Range” may not be all that free to roam||Eggs from chicken coop housed fowl|
|CAFO: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation which is most commercially available meat||DO NOT EAT anything grown or processed outside the US waters||CAFO: which is most retail available fowl||CAFO: which is most commercially available eggs|
Step #5: Count Your Carbs & Make Them Count
Overconsumption of carbohydrates is a starting point for Metabolic Syndrome and the Diabetes Spectrum…? It lies at the feet of how your body responds to the carbohydrate molecule.
People who have difficulty utilizing carbohydrates report brain fog, slow reaction times, being easily distracted and having junk in the energy tank. They start exhibiting external indicators along the way too. For some it’s the spare tire. For others it is a muffin top. Some get back fat. All while others get the keg. Euphemism aside, these are all dangerous outward signs of a problem that most likely started from an overworked carb processing system.
How much is too much and what’s the bottom line to keep YOU from becoming insulin resistant? In short, insulin resistance is at the helm of most chronic disease.
If you don’t track (Step #2), you won’t know where your body goes off track.
Some people can be flexible with their food sources. Others have to mind every single molecule of glucose, well almost to that extent…that is until the metabolism is streamlined.
There are absolutely no scientific studies that prove carbs are essential. Or, that they balance out the diet.
Now we need foods that have carbs, like vegetables and fruits. FYI: I am specifically referring to the non-GMO, unadulterated versions…because they provide essential nutrients and fiber. Make no mistake, it is not the “carbohydrate” that is essential. It is the nutrient alongside the carbohydrate. It is the fiber. These are the extent of our need for carbohydrate-containing foods.
It’s common knowledge that carbohydrates provide glucose for use within the human body. Most cells use said glucose as a fuel source. When the body is glucose driven, it needs it…lots of it. The carbohydrate (carb) is the easiest macronutrient to break down into usable fuel…along with the messiest. Think coal when you think carbs.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends we meet 45-65 percent of our daily energy needs from ingesting carbs.
As you’ve seen in old-time movies, shoveling coal into the train’s furnace creates billows of dark smoke and intense heat. Keeping that energy up requires a ton of coal, quite literally.
It is similar when it comes to your body’s need for fuel. When it is burning inefficient carbs (coal), it requires an immense amount of them. As you burn more and more carbs, more and more junk is released in the process. Unlike the train, that junk gets trapped in the body, and now it has to be used up, or stored. Much of the leftover junk is stored in body fat.
Burning carbs for fuel results in an increased amount of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) AKA oxidation…which is like internal rusting of the body and its parts. Oxidation is why antioxidants are recommended when carb-fueled.
There is no such thing as an “essential carbohydrate”. The over-consumption of carbs has created a backlash in our health on many levels.
Excessive carb consumption over an extended period can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to metabolic syndrome, which leads to Type 2 Diabetes.
If you’re over 40, you’ve thought or been told that your excess fat stems from a hormone problem. Your hormones have been blamed for why we start to get the brain fog and sluggishness just when we hit our stride. I know I sure thought that!
Let me shed a little light on this topic without diving in head first without a helmet. Technically you do suffer from a hormone problem.
There, I said it.
It’s just not one of the few in the crosshairs of Conventional Wisdom.
One of the crux manifestations of said hormone issue is that insulin resistance leads to your blood glucose level not being maintained in the healthy range. This, in turn, leads to Metabolic Syndrome, which ultimately leads to Diabetes Type 2 (usually within five years after Metabolic Syndrome sets in) as well as a whole host of other named chronic diseases.
I know this is a little nerdy, but I also know the better you understand how your body works, the better you can care for it, just like anything in life. But hello…your body???
This is your most important asset!
Step #6: Favor Fat
This step is the most confusing for people.
Because literally, we need to be in a recovery group for this one!
If you’re over 40, like me, you grew up in the low-fat/nonfat craze. It was crammed down our throat that consuming fat made us fat and clogged our arteries like it was on a murderous rampage.
I shudder at the memory of eating rice cakes and non-fat cookies dunked in non-fat milk! *Gag* I mean, what’s the point of living if all we get to eat is that taste-less cardboard!
We’ve been led to believe (and still are) that animal sources of natural fats are out to kill us and seed oils that are refined, bleached and deodorized are better for us than nature.
The “Fat Kills” belief has been refuted over and over again…but the public is still being misled to believe that fat and cholesterol are Public Enemies #1 & 2. Not true.
You need to favor healing fats like coconut oil, ghee, and butter. Leaving seed and grain oils on the shelf. They don’t belong in our bodies.
There’s no such thing as a “canola”. It was created in a lab to be a cheap alternative to real oil, and it does not spoil. Gross isn’t it?
Here’s a little Dr. Sam-ism for you…
In my next post, The Proper Care and Feeding of the EXECUpreneur: Steps 7, 9 & 3, I break down 3 more steps in my 12 Step Strategy for a Body & Mind that just won’t quit!