Monday, July 18, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Eating for ENERGY.

People wonder where I get my energy.  I lead my classes full-out ... a few times a day and I'm not all that young.  I also don't drink coffee, take 5-Hour-Energy shots or any other upper.

The big source of my energy happens to come from not eating things that wreck havoc on my digestive system - such as wheat...or any grains for that matter.

I've also been asked if jumping around in Vibram 5 Fingers multiple times a day hurts my feet.  They don't.  HOWEVER, when I eat certain foods that tax my digestive system (e.g., dairy, grains - gluten in particular and legumes) - I get an arthritic-like condition in my achilles tendons and I might wake up in the morning with stiff ankles and feet!

Food absolutely affects how we feel and function.

In this particular example - basically, when you eat anything that bothers the gut - there will be inflammation and increased permeability.  This permeability allows undigested food particles leak out from the gut thereby causing inflammation in the joints.  That is the extremely short story of how Leaky Gut Syndrome can affect the joints.  But leaky gut isn't exclusive to affecting the joints!  For every person - it's something different.

This might sound crazy to some of you but - I am hyper aware to how foods affect me and have been studying this for years both independently and formally.  In my research I've come to find out - grains and legumes (especially ill-prepared) are common offenders and happen to affect a LOT of people in a variety of ways.  Dairy is another common offender in a lot of people.  But sometimes this is simply due to the source of the dairy and not the dairy itself.

These common offenders don't only cause inflammation in the joints.  That's my personal story.  Offending foods create inflammation all over the body in many different ways.  Inflammation can range from a pimple to bloating to carpal tunnel to high blood pressure and worse.  Some people are predisposed to certain areas.  This is partly influenced by genetics.  The case of my achilles tendons has more to do with overuse or overexposure.  I work my calves and feet a lot.  A pianist is more likely to experience something similar in their hands and wrists.  Someone who sits at their desk a large portion of their day might feel it in their low back.

Inflammation is the first step in disease or more serious issues.

If you've been following this blog, you may have noticed that I've mentioned the deleterious effects of eating grains (particularly gluten) on the body.  If you follow the Holistic Hottie Facebook page you might notice things like whole grains, soy and peanuts listed in the "Impostor Health Food" section.  Shocking - right?  Most people consider whole grains, soy and peanuts as health foods!  But, they're not and I explain why on the Facebook page with references and links.

Regarding wheat - here is a recent video interviewing a medical doctor sharing his views on wheat.  It's short.  Please watch!  :)  Some people ditch wheat, gluten and grains for weight loss.  It CAN serve that purpose but everyone I know who's given up wheat strictly over the period of a few months has not wanted to go back due to the mere fact that they feel a whole lot better - and for everyone, that means something different.


  1. So if you remove wheat from your diet what shall you eat instead? What would be a good substitute?

  2. Sue, are you asking what is a good replacement for when baking? If so there are lots of options. A growing number of people are baking with a variety of flours including: coconut, almond and hazelnut. Instead of whole wheat pasta, there are quite a few "gluten-free" options now. My preference is to make spaghetti-like noodles out of zucchini with my Spiralizer though. Instead of whole wheat wraps, Food for Life makes a sprouted corn tortilla. Or you can use large stiff lettuce leaves as wraps instead. If there's something specific you're looking for, let me know. :)