Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Body Book – Part One | Nutrition: Love Your Hunger

So yes I know I have been working on this book for quite some time now. It’s been a couple crazy months and there is a lot of info to cover. I have learned so much about my body and I can’t wait to share it all with you! I would really like to go chapter by chapter but that would be a nightmare so I figured I could do it in 3 parts like the book; Nutrition, Fitness & Mind. So since I have already done the dirty work here are the things that I got out of chapters 1-13. If you want more details and info about it you can buy the book HERE. XO, Erica

-          The human cell is a complex, living structure made up of fat and protein (which are, not coincidentally, two key components of your nutrition).
-          Today, tomorrow, and twenty years from now, your nutrition is worth your attention and your time, because nutrition is health, and health is everything.
-          Do you understand the difference between whole foods, the ones that give you life, and processed foods, the ones that have about as much nutrition as the plastic wrappers they come in?
-          Just because you can put something in your mouth, chew it, swallow it, and then poop it out doesn’t mean it’s food. It just means you can chew it, swallow it, and poop it out.
-          We are living in bodies that are overfed and undernourished.

That last point was a big eye-opener for me! It made me think of those PETA videos that have been blasting all over social media. We are overfed and undernourished. What is the point in eating something if it isn’t going to give your nourishment?!

-          Hunger is 100% healthy, some diet plans and magazines and occasionally even our own imaginations seem set on convincing is that hunger is something there to trip us up or trick us. Hunger is your body urging you to take care of yourself, to give it energy so that you can live your life.
-          20% of your body’s energy supply is used by your big, gorgeous, energy-hungry brain.
-          Hunger is not your enemy. It is a signal from the deepest part of you, cueing you toward survival.
-          You never have to be hungry anymore!

Now I’m about to get really scientific on you!

-          When we eat plants and animals (who eat plants), we get sun energy in the form of macronutrients. There are three kinds of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.  These macronutrients provide energy, and they also contain varying amounts of micronutrients. There are two kinds of micronutrients: vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients give us all of the things you’d expect in a multivitamin-but when you get them from food, they’re much more effective than a pill. Together the three macronutrients plus vitamins and minerals plus water add up to the six nutrients essential to our survival.
-          Carbohydrates, the basic energy in plant food, are a combination of carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight.
-          Every scrumptious bite of food that touches your lips is made up of either carbohydrates, protein, or fat – or ideally, a combination of all three.
-          Calories aren’t a measure of how “fattening” a food is, they’re a measure of how much energy is packed into that food.


-          Over the past few decades of diet and weight-loss crazes, each of the macronutrients has been subjected to smear campaigns. Do you remember all of those fat-free snacks on the market? When they took out the fat, they replaced it with sugar, which just made people fat. Then carbs took it on the chin, and everyone went on a low-carb diet (which, ironically, tended to be a high-fat diet). Most recently there has been a trend toward cutting out all animal protein, which again, is healthy in moderate amounts.
-          Let’s face it: If diet trends were effective, we’d all be eating fat-free, low-carb cookies in our bikinis instead of throwing money away on one diet program after another.

This is some good stuff right?! I hope you’re taking notes because it’s about to get really good.

-          Complex carbs support your energetic, healthy life, while simple carbs are a source of empty calories. Additionally, simple carbs are sneaky, because when you eat something that’s been refined and doesn’t have an fiber, you can eat and eat and eat and never feel full, which means you gain weight without even knowing that you’re overeating…which double sucks.
-          Whole grains give you a longer-lasting energy source than refined carbohydrates.
-          Do you love sweet foods? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. And it turns out, there’s a biological reason for that: sweet foods aren’t poisonous. Old-school humans loved sweet foods because our ancestors knew that if a food was sweet, it was safe to eat. Sweetness was a sign that the plant was edible (most plants that are poisonous to humans taste bitter).

The Relationship Between Insulin & Sugar
-          Insulin is a hormone that helps deliver glucose to your cells. As sugar enters your bloodstream from the food you eat, your pancreas secretes insulin, which regulates your blood sugar by transporting the glucose out of your blood and into your cells. When you eat a lot of sugar, your pancreas is forced to go into overdrive, producing high levels of insulin to compensate. If you regularly eat a lot of sugar, this elevated level of insulin over time can lead to a condition known as insulin resistance. When you become insulin resistant, your cells are less responsive to the presence of insulin; as a result they need more insulin to absorb glucose from your blood. So your pancreas pumps out even more insulin, again and again. Insulin resistance has been linked to the development of heart disease and is a precursor of type 2 diabetes.

The Dangers of Inflammation
-          There are two kinds of inflammation – one that is helpful to your body, and one that is damaging and dangerous. Acute inflammation, the lifesaving response your immune system triggers to protect you. Your immune system is like your body’s security force. When it senses the presence of an intruder, it sends an army of white blood cells to a specific area to protect you from harm. That protective inflammatory response ensures that your little paper cut doesn’t become an infected wound. The other kind of inflammation is chronic inflammation, and some doctors believe that it creates an environment in which diseases – from obesity, diabetes, and heart-disease to illnesses like depression and cancer-can thrive. Chronis inflammation is linked to eating processed foods, added sugars and not getting enough exercise.
-          Ways you can protect yourself against chronic inflammation: Get off the couch, increase your consumption of fruits and veggies, increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, get enough sleep, avoid access body weight – especially around the abdomen, revise your workouts during stressful times, and maintain a positive outlook.

Protein is Strength
-          The word protein means “of prime importance” – and protein is certainly important to our health. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Amino acids and proteins are so vital of our health that they are regularly referred to as “the building blocks of life.”
-          As we’ve discussed, when you eat carbs and fats, your body can store away some of the excess for later use (whether you like it or not). But protein is different. Amino acids cannot be stored in the body. So the best way to eat protein isn’t to sit down to a giant caveman-style slab of meat at the end of the day, but to eat small portions of protein steadily, throughout the day. That way, the amino acids are always available for your body to use.

Re-Friending Fat
-          Fat keeps your skin from being rough and scaly, it helps your body absorb vitamins, provides you with fuel throughout the day, and boosts your brainpower.
-          Think of fats like a bunch of people at a party. Some people are wonderful and well worth your time and some are jerks, and it’s your job to judge each of them on merit. While some fats-the saturated and trans fats – are like the alluring ultimately destructive guy you really shouldn’t date, others are like the nice guy next door that your best friend keeps wishing (rightly) that you would fall for.

The Bone Builders
-          Our bones are in a constant makeover montage, with the old cells continuously being lost and new cells being created. So supplying the nutrients our bodies need to build healthy bones is integral if you want to maintain your bones as an adult.

The whole secret to feeding yourself well: Take time to create food that you love to eat while also making sure that it provides you with the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, essential fats, and protein that you need to be healthy.

Water is Life
-          Every night before I go to sleep, I fill up a big glass bottle with water and put it on my bathroom counter. First thing in the morning, right after I brush my teeth, I drink it. A steady and consistent intake of water throughout the day helps me to keep my mind clear and my body in motion.
-          We need all of the nutrients to stay alive, but water may be the most important nutrient of all.
-          Feeling thirsty doesn’t just mean that you need water. It means that you’ve needed water for a while. Thirst is your body’s way of saying it’s been toooo long.

-          One of the sure signs of early dehydration is a heavy, foggy headache, the kind that makes it hard to think straight. Instead of reaching for the ibuprofen, try drinking a glass or two of water first, then see if that clears your head and thoughts.

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