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14 February 2011

Nutrition - 14 Feb 2011 - Dark Chocolate and Red Wine...

Happy Monday, Team!

A very joyous hearts day to you all! Are you loving your new lifestyle yet? I've been only hearing great news and stories of success through the past few weeks – so I'll just assume that the answer is YES!

Nutrition Tip of the Day: Enjoy your treats sensibly! And be sure to have some from time to time. A "holiday" such as today is a good time to have your open meal (as long as you don't go overboard) or to come up with a very special meal for your loved ones (did you see the Sweetheart Scallops on everydaypaleo.com or the Marinated Venison Tenderloins at thenakedkitchen.net?). Nothing says I Love You like helping them be around for a long-long time. And when you want something a little extra – go for a nice red wine (may I suggest Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon? ) and a spot of dark chocolate (70% or greater!).

We are approaching a very important milestone in your journeys. One month. Remember, this is not a sprint and you have only finished the first 100 yards. However, these first steps are a most important foundation to have and will set you up for a house of sticks or a house of bricks. Which do you choose?

At your one month point in time, remember to take a new set of pictures and measurements! I, of course, would like to have the updated measurements. You can hold onto the pictures for a while yet.

This week will be a great week to start getting back outside to eat your lunches. Grab your perfectly zoned-proportionate meal full of those wonderful lean meats, veggies, some fruit, nuts, seeds, and oils and get some free Vitamin D! In fact, I'm writing this email to you now under the mostly sunny, 50 degree sky that is making up our Monday. Ahh – I can feel this wonderful prohormone as it is released from the skin and saturates the rest of my bodily tissues with its' goodness. J

Ok – a little more serious now. Thanks to Gail for bringing in the newest Banana Bread recipe! It was a normal sized loaf of perfect banana bread-ness made from little more than ONE cup of almond flour and ONE cup of almond butter.

Look at the new recipes from the readers of MDA. What a wonderful resource now that you have been introduced to coconut flour! Anyone want to bring in the Hobnobs or Chocolate Almond Coconut Protein Fudge? ;-) If the attachment gets bounced from your email box, let me know and I'll get you the link and password to download your own.

We had a very light crew last Friday. Most members had other obligations to attend to which we all understand. Thank you all for letting me know who was going to be able to make it and who was not. What you did miss was the discussion on Digestion. Basically, what happens to a meal of protein, carbs, and fat after you put it in your mouth until it hits the bottom of the small intestine (the rest is well…). With a number of electro-chemical signals starting the moment you take in food and many hormones as well as enzymes released during the cycle (we only hit the major ones) it became very apparent that having those in good working order is vitally important to your being able to extract the proper nutrients as well as maintaining the health of the system. Attached are my speaker notes on the subject. Study up! We will want to talk about the three states of feeding on Tuesday. These are the Fed, The Underfed, and The Overfed.

So back to work we go. Say hello to the sun today! And spend some time making sure the ones you love know just how much they mean to you. A solid, supportive, and loving relationship is vital to your health.

Enjoy your Red Wine and Dark Chocolate Day!



It's important to understand how a typical meal of Protein, Carbs, and Fats make it through the digestive process.

· Using a meal of baked salmon (protein), avocado (fat), and fruit salad (carbohydrate)

We'll also look at the three states of eating

· Normal eating

· No eating at all (fasting)

· Over eating

Looking at these is also important as things like type 2 diabetes occur when the normal hormonal signals associated with food get "lost." It is the loss of this hormonal communication that leads to obesity, accelerated aging, most cancers, and many other health issues.

The Mouth

· Simply – the place where physical breakdown of the food occurs

· Protein – broken down into smaller pieces, remains chemically unchanged

· Carbs – Fruit salad is a mix of

o monosaccharides (glucose and fructose),

o disaccharides (sucrose – which is glucose and fructose again),

o polysaccharides in form of starch (many glucose molecules that we can digest), and

o fiber (which is important for digestive health, but humans cannot break down)

o Salivary amylase starts to break down the starches, but little happens due to short time in mouth

o The sweet taste of the fruit "primes the pump" for the rest of the digestive process. This is an electrochemical communication between the taste buds and the brain, and the rest of the digestive system. This can be tricked by artificial sweeteners.

· Fats: Reduced to a paste but is chemically unaltered

The Stomach

· An acidic environment that hosts a small amount of protein digestion by action of acid and enzyme pepsin.

· Mostly just a staging area – creates chyme

· Cells lining the stomach sense food and release leptin into circulation

o Leptin – passes into the brain, signaling that we are "fed," decreasing appetite while increasing our metabolic rate in response to food.

o Increase in metabolic rate is generally an increase in fat "burning" for energy.

· Stomach releases several other hormones

o Cholecystokinin – CCK – Also sends a satiety (I'm full!) signal to the brain.

§ Also stimulates the release of bile salts and pancreatic enzymes

· Still extremely early in process and TWO full signals have been sent. What if this signal is sluggish or absent?

· Protein – A small amount of chemical and enzymatic digestion occurs. This breaks down the thousands long chain of amino acids (building blocks of protein) into smaller pieces. The salmon still mostly looks like salmon.

· Carbs – No digestion occurs in the stomach

· Fats – Virtually no digesting of fats occurs in the stomach

The Small Intestine

· The chyme (acidic stomach contents) empties into the duodenum. Biocarbonate is injected into the chyme to change it from acidic to basic (without alkaline foods where does the biocarbonate come from? Extracted from your bones!).

· The enzymes that break down protein, fats, and carbohydrate require an alkaline (basic) environment to work best.

· As chyme enters the small intestine it is mixed with pancreatic enzymes and bile salts (from the gall bladder – so, what about gall bladder removal? Uh oh!)

· Protein – Pancreatic enzymes rapidly reduce the chains into tri and di-peptides (three and two amino acid proteins).

o These are cut into singles by their contact with the brush border of the small intestine.

o The free amino acids enter the blood stream and are transported to the liver, then the rest of the body for use in growth and maintenance.

· Carbs – Monosaccharides can enter the blood stream directly.

o Disaccharides must be cut down on the brush border

o Polysaccharides (starch) must be broken all the way to free glucose

o All sugars must be broken down to single molecules before entering bloodstream. "Complex Carbs" = lots of sugar. Hmm…

· Fats – BILE SALTS (from gall bladder) are VITALLY important in the digestion of fats.

o Since fat and water doesn't mix…bile acts like soap – one part attracting the fat, the other attracting the water. This breakdown is called emulsification.

o Once complete – pancreatic enzyme LIPASE can break apart the fat into glycerol and fatty acid molecules.

o Once free, they're transported through the intestinal wall and reassembled on the other side.

o The triglycerides are then transported by special proteins to the liver – but unlike protein and carbs, must go to the lymph vessels first.

That's it! Kind of. From here – the rest is simply excreted. So since all the nutrients are now in the liver, let's go there…

· As the nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal lining, the hormone peptide YY (PYY) is released.

o Also a satiety hormone

o Furthermore, increases LEPTIN sensitivity

· Protein releases a large amount of PYY and is very satiating. Fat also releases a significant amount

· Carbs, release the least.

We've been releasing a lot of hormones that signal the brain – ensuring excellent appetite control and the eating of just what we need for energy and maintenance. What happens when this system breaks down? The Fed, The Underfed, and The Ugly…

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