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Posts for tag: paleo lifestyle

By Dr. Doug Williams
July 29, 2019
Category: Top 10

Dr. Doug’s Top 10: Protecting Your Sleep

This summer, we are revisiting the ten posts I believe have the greatest impact on day-to-day health. The choices are based on what we have seen in real life patients of the practice and the continuing unfolding of supportive scientific literature.

It is amazing how God puts us together. One of the things I have found fascinating are the paradoxes in health. To me, there is no greater contrast in the nervous system than between the need for sleep and activity. Activity (movement) is literally food for your brain: the less active you are, the less brain activity you have. In contrast, if you are active but don’t get enough sleep, you burn out the neurotransmitters in your brain! You need both rest and activity.

This post helps paint a good overview of how to create a space for healthy sleep in your life.

Read Dr. Doug's post on Protecting Your Sleep


Yours in Health,

Dr. Doug’s Top 10: Paleo Food Summary and Cheat Sheet

This summer, we are revisiting the ten posts I believe have the greatest impact on day-to-day health. The choices are based on what we have seen in real life patients of the practice and the continuing unfolding of supportive scientific literature.

Over all the years of practice (31) and living in my body (55!), one of the single most important factors for physical healthy I have found is what you put in your mouth.

Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.
- Hippocrates

There is so much research linking good health to a good diet and bad health to a poor one that I don’t think anyone would dispute his quote today. The problem is with practicing it! The Paleo Summary and Cheat Sheet is a good place to start.

Read Dr. Doug's post on The Paleo Summary

Download the Cheat Sheet

 

Yours in Health,

Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
March 06, 2018
Category: Sleep

What's Not to Get About Sleep?

If you are just joining us, we are in the middle of exploring the "Paleo" health concepts. Paleo originally came to the forefront as a movement that followed the way pre-industrial humans tended to eat. It has expanded over the last several years to include other items like, sleep, exercise and community, among other things. We recently finished up the section on eating, which you can review here. We are working through material from a special edition of Paleo Magazine entitled "Go Paleo, The Step-By-Step Guide."

This week, we are going to start looking at sleep, why it is important, what messes it up, and how to optimize it! I think you are going to get a lot out of this one, and, hey, who doesn't like to sleep!

We Are Hard-Wired for Day and Night

Before the advent of electricity, most human activity, both body and brain, stopped once it got dark. We were literally forced to rest. Our unique human physiology was actually created to maximize this! During the day, when we are exposed to sunlight, our systems produce various hormones and our brains operate a specific way, primarily to keep us alert and active. At night, we produce another set of hormones and our brains operate in a very different fashion, primarily inducing sleep and repair. This daily (and nightly) cycle is called the Circadian Rhythm. Circadian Rhythm is primarily regulated by exposure to daylight, but can be influenced by other things, like temperature. There is a great summary sheet on this topic by The National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

How Much Is Enough?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following sleep schedule:

Infant                    12 - 16 hours
Toddler                 11 - 14 hours
Pre-School           10 - 13 hours
School Age           9 - 12 hours
Teen                     8 - 10 hours
Adult                     7 - 9 hours

According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, 40% of Americans get less than the recommended minimum of seven hours!

This rhythmic sleep wake cycle was the norm for most people up until several hundred years ago. In the last one hundred years, we have taken things to a whole new level! Shift work, 5 Hour Energy Drink, Starbucks, computers and televisions, expanded social calendars and societal pressures can and do cut into this cycle, especially the nighttime (sleep) portion of it!

A Storm is Brewing

The Go Paleo Step-By-Step Guide lists the following issues related to sleep deprivation (not enough time in bed) and disruption (poor sleep when in bed):

  • Problems with attention
  • Problems with decision making
  • Problems with memory
  • Problems with learning
  • Problems with problem solving
  • Problems with mood regulation
  • Decreased creativity
  • Increased depression, suicide and risk taking
  • Increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Issues with inflammation and the immune system

WOW!
 
That is a lot of different things that can be related to not getting enough shut-eye. Quantity is a pretty easy concept. You know what time you go to bed and what time you get up. Quality of sleep is a little trickier though. Next week, we are going to cover some of the hidden things that may be affecting the time that you have set aside to sleep. Stay tuned!

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana
By Dr. Doug Williams
February 26, 2018
Category: Paleo

All Right, Team, Let's Pull This Thing Together!

Over the last month, we have covered a lot of ground. We have been working our way through the Paleo Lifestyle Approach and, more specifically, how it looks at eating. Let's sum it up!

First, the Overarching Principles:

  • Eat real, whole food, not processed products
  • Eat local, seasonal food
  • Eat animal protein that was raised according to their species needs; ie, not living in restrictive pens or forced to eat drug infused inappropriate foods
  • Eat organic food grown in a nutrient rich soil

Next, the Food Pyramid:

Nuts 
&
Seeds
Fruit
FATS
Meat and Fish
V-E-G-E-T-A-B-L-E-S

Some Additional Suggestions:
  1. Pick one thing from each of the lists above (Overarching Principles of Eating, Paleo Pyramid) to start working on.
  2. Don’t go for the jugular! For instance, if you aren't really that invested in your breakfast cereal, consider changing it out for free range scrambled eggs (you can get free range chicken eggs at Walmart).
  3. Don’t try to make your spouse or kids comply. It just won’t end well, it really won’t. Pick a meal that you usually eat by yourself. For example – lunch is usually safe. If you don’t eat enough vegetables, make a point to start having at least one fresh vegetable with lunch most days.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up! Remember the 85/15 rule: it doesn’t have to be spot on all the time, just the majority of it. If you are one of those people who start out having to do the things, all or nothing, you are going to have to plan to fail part of the time. Life is hardly, if ever, an all-or-nothing event. You are in it for the long haul!

A Quick Check Sheet to Keep on the Fridge!

Some people just want the facts. The facts are that food can really cause a lot of health problems. The facts are that most of what we eat in the standard American diet is not very healthy and is, in fact, often times toxic. The fact is that the traditional food pyramid is wrong, at least, if you want to avoid diabetes, arthritis, possibly Alzheimer's (any diseases that are inflammatory based). The facts are that a healthy diet is simple. The facts are that it takes discipline, especially in the beginning!

EAT THIS                                                                              NOT THAT              

 

Fresh or lightly steamed vegetables (organic, if you can)

Heavily cooked vegetables in sauce (cheese, etc.)

Fresh fruit; no-sugar fruit sauce (organic, if you can)

Canned fruit, jams, fruit wraps

Fish, chicken, beef, pork (organic/grass-fed, if you can): baked or grilled

Fried or battered meat, lunch meat, hot dogs, Slim Jim's, etc., fast food

Water

Pop, fruit juice, alcohol

Caffeine-free herbal tea

Caffeine drinks

Raw nuts and seeds, nut butter

Salted nuts, peanut butter

Gluten-free "baked products," oats, rice and gluten-free "baked products" (sparingly)

Wheat and wheat products (cereal, crackers, chips, cookies, cakes, pies)

Butter, spices, fresh salsa, wine marinades

Margarine, cheese, gravy, BBQ sauces, bottled marinades

Flax meal, ground chia seed

Pre-packed store-bought baked products with a shelf life

Free-range/omega-enriched eggs

Caged white eggs

Olive oil, coconut oil

Vegetable shortening

Dark chocolate

Candy (especially brightly colored)

 

*Items in bold represent the worst of the worst.

Download Check Sheet

I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have been enjoying bringing it to you! We have been going through material found, in large part, in the special addition of Paleo Magazine called "Go Paleo: The Step-By-Step Guide." The outline we are using is:

  1. Eating
  2. Sleeping
  3. Unplugging
  4. Connecting with others
  5. Sunlight
  6. Movement and Play

Next week, we will start on Sleeping.  

Remember, you don't have to make it all work in one day, pick a piece at a time and see how it goes!

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
February 20, 2018
Category: Paleo

High Carb? Low Carb? No Carb? Help!

If you are just joining us, we are working our way through some material on the Paleo Lifestyle. You can check out some of the previous posts here. As you may recall, the Paleo Movement started out primarily as an approach to eating more like humans have historically (and potentially pre-historically) than how we have been eating over the last hundred years or so. Recently, the Paleo Movement has also incorporated exercise, sleep, electronics, and even social interactions. Currently, we are finishing up the section on food. Today, we are going to be covering carbohydrates. Before we talk about the Paleo approach to carbohydrates, let's take a minute and talk about exactly what a carbohydrate is!

What is a Carbohydrate?

While a protein can be used for energy production in the human body, it is not very efficient and way more important as a building block. Fat is a highly efficient form of energy, but takes a little while to get burning. Fat also has some very important roles in hormone and cell production. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are an energy source that burns fast and hot! They don't take much to get going, but they burn out quick. Carbohydrates also convert to fat in the body, if they are eaten in greater amounts than the body needs.

Sources of dietary carbohydrates include

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Legumes (Beans)

Carbohydrates in our diet can be either refined or unrefined. Refined refers to how much of the "wrapping" around the carbohydrate has been removed. For instance, if you took an orange and squeezed it for the juice, a high percentage of what you got would actually be pure carbohydrate. If you took that same orange and ate the whole thing, you would get the same amount of juice, plus a lot of fiber.

When You Consume Too Many Carbohydrates in Your Diet

The problem with consuming too many carbohydrates in your diet (and refined carbohydrates, for sure) can be summed up in two words: Insulin Resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas to help get carbohydrates into cells and to help convert excess carbohydrates into stored fat. If a diet is too high in carbohydrates (especially refined ones), then the insulin system works overtime. Do this for too long and it starts to become less efficient, and it will eventually stop working altogether, which results in Type II Diabetes! Diabetes itself is associated with a variety of health issues, including heart disease, eye issues, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.

What Do Paleos Do?

The "Go Paleo: Step-By-Step Guide that we have been following from Paleo Magazine emphasizes getting the majority of your carbohydrates from vegetables, then more sparingly from fruit, as it has a higher concentration of sugar (fructose).

It is recommend to stay away from grains and legumes. Grains have several issues: they are higher in carbohydrate compared to fruits and vegetables and, therefore, can raise your blood sugar more quickly. In addition, the primary grain we use in the US is wheat. Wheat has a protein in it called gluten. Gluten can have negative effects on both the gut and nerve system in a lot of people. Legumes (beans) are composed of a material that requires a specific enzyme to break it down for digestion. Most people don't have that enzyme, hence that famous song: "Beans, beans the magical fruit..."

The Paleo approach emphasizes getting your carbohydrates first from eating a lot of dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach), then incorporating vegetables and fruit from a variety of colors. Each color can add different nutrients. It is recommended to limit starchy vegetables, like potatoes and corn, as they have a high percentage of carbohydrate to weight.

What Do You Do, Doc?

Like I have said in previous posts, I try hard to follow the 85/15 rule: Eat right at least 85% of the time and don't worry the other 15%!

Here is what I typically do:

  • Most days, we try not to have any carbohydrates (fruit or vegetable) prior to lunch time. We do this by having either bacon, eggs and coffee, or turmeric tea with coconut cream for breakfast. Then, we try not to eat before noon. This gives the insulin system a long break from bedtime till lunchtime (for us, about 12-13 hours).
  • For lunch, I try to have a salad of salmon, carrots, celery, spinach, flax meal, and avocado, along with an apple and pear, and some nuts and M&M's for dessert.
  • Most dinners are a vegetable and meat, but we do eat chili, burritos, and hamburger rolls with gluten-free flour (dinner would be our highest concentration of carbohydrates).
  • When we bake, it is with 1/3 gluten-free flour, 1/3 almond flour and 1/3 flax/chia mix. The almond flour and flax/chia mix are actually very high in fat and low in carbohydrates. We usually make banana bread and M&M cookies this way, minus half the recommended sugar.
  • Our biggest indulgence are frappuccinos (this probably makes up most of the 15%)!
  • We rarely buy chips, crackers, or cereal.
  • You will see us at restaurants, mostly Chipotle and McAllisters, and that is another place we cheat a little.
  • Pop is rare; carbonated flavored water is the norm.

Again, 85/15 is the goal.

I hope this gives you a little better an understanding of how carbohydrates work and why it is important to chose them carefully. Remember, you don't have to be perfect or finish first to have a successful race, but it is a good idea to be heading in the right direction!

Next week, we will wrap up the eating portion of this series with a Quick Tips and Help Sheet!

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana