This Is “Jet Fuel” For The Body & Brain, But You Can’t Buy It Anywhere.
Life as we know it can be stressful to say the least. Add to it the breakneck speed at which most of us operate, and it’s no wonder we have to jolt ourselves with caffeine or a sugar high multiple times a day.
We jump from one thing to another because we’re always behind the 8-ball with a never-ending row of deadlines in our future. Just when we think we’ve got it all handled, life hands us a reminder we do not, nor will we ever.
It’s often pure chaos.
It is easy to think you will feel invigorated if you just get some extra sleep, or a vacation. So why is it that even on the weekends, or possibly after some time away, we still feel rotten and exhausted?
All signs point to what we eat to provide fuel to our body and brain.
The way we eat (aka our diet) is typically a high-carbohydrate, processed, low-nutrient, high-calorie affair. In fact, the average person eats too many carbs, calories too. And not only are the calories too many, they’re typically “empty calories” to boot. This catastrophe comes in the form of white breads, white rice, processed sweeteners, chips, fries, baked potatoes, etc.
I’m willing to bet that almost every exhausted American who eats three meals a day, of which half or more (when measured in calories) are white carbs, also eats several snacks loaded with sugar in some form. We erroneously assume a piece of fruit will make our diets healthier. Whilst in reality it adds more sugar and only a few more nutrients.
We have taken our government’s recommendations to heart.
“Eat more carbs. Eat less fat.”
The RDA for carbs is way too high to balance out our energy. The spike in glucose is followed by an equally intense low. In fact since most of us eat more than recommended, we are on a sugar high and crash all day. Eating processed food (which are almost all carbs) causes us to crave them more. And there are consequences.
Too many carbohydrates can impact our energy levels on several fronts.
First of all we are running on a constant up and down glucose/insulin cycle, which can wreak havoc on our adrenals. Adrenal fatigue can ensue. Adrenal fatigue is when our hormones, most notably our stress hormones, are out of balance. We exhaust ourselves from running on adrenaline.
When you eat carbs your blood sugar spikes quickly. In response your body releases insulin to remove the sugar (glucose) from the blood where it can build up and cause damage. All that sugar goes into our muscles and liver. When they are full, any excess glucose is stored in body fat. This makes our energy crash and makes us crave food again. Any guess as to what the body will crave? Yep! Carbs.
Secondly we are eating carbohydrate at the expense of more nutritious foods. Most high carbohydrate, processed foods are shockingly low in nutrients. There is nothing you can get in a cup of rice or bread that you will not get a hundred times over if you eat a cup of dark leafy greens, root vegetables, or non-sweet fruit. Even sweet fruits have a reduced amount of antioxidants and vitamins compared to non-sweet or fatty fruits. But we are filling our stomachs with these carby foods instead of more nutritious ones.
As long as they are otherwise healthy, the average person can run just as well on ketones 24/7 as on glucose.
What are these ketones of which I speak?
They are a combination of fats and proteins that makes an alternative energy source for our bodies to run on. I liken them to jet fuel. And your body does too…along with your brain.
Overnight, when we naturally abstain from eating, we burn through our blood glucose and tap into our stored glucose (glycogen). Depending how much glycogen we have on hand and how long our overnight food fast was, along with our resting energy needs, we may or may not burn through our reserves. If we happen to tap out our glycogen stores, then and ONLY then will we tap into the abundance of energy available as triglycerides in our body fat. It’s a genius design.
When we focus on eating fat and protein, we control our insulin cycle. This is the complete opposite of the carbohydrate-heavy cycle we’ve adapted out of convenience.
When our bodies need energy while ketone-fueled, they can ask us to eat more, or just make more ketones out of our own fat, tiding us over until the next meal. And if we have too many ketones they will be flushed out of our bodies through our urine, rather than stored as fat. Your energy will be topped off all day without gaining fat.
We also eat less high calorie foods, leaving room in our stomachs for high nutrient foods. This means that all those nutrients that fight fatigue, such as zinc, magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, vitamin E, etc, have a better chance of getting into our diets.
Here’s an easy go-to meal to start you on your jet-fueled journey: a big plate of mixed greens and shredded root vegetables, alongside a couple of eggs or beef tips or chicken thighs can make an amazing, satisfying, micronutrient-dense, energizing meal, no need whatsoever for high carb foods.