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Velma's LeanZine, Issue #009 -- July - Chillax
July 01, 2013
Hi there!

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Break out the watermelon!

We are officially halfway through the year. This means I am behind on all of my plans. I am accomplishing some things, so I won't sell myself too short. How about you?

I've grown the best garden I have in all my years of trying. I've learned that patience is probably the best virtue to have when trying to plant a garden. That's the only thing I've applied differently this year.

Try not to judge me on how horrible this picture turned out.

This is just one row of my garden. The carrots and the beets. I've been having a long battle with a gopher. So far, I appear to be winning. The row just next to it that is even blurrier than the one I was focusing on were my lettuces.

There was a gopher who chomped the crap out of that row. I went to my back yard to collect my crop one afternoon dreaming of a huge salad and just about lost my mind when I saw how a stupid gopher burrowed his way underneath my cage and had his dinner on MY salad greens! I cannot tell you how disheartening that was. I hate spending money on bagged lettuce when I can run to my garden and get my own. Irritating.

I did some research and found out that I just needed some castor oil pellets. I've applied them and so far so good. If you know of another method, do tell. I've been told to use Wrigley's juicy fruit gum, and cat hair as well. Spill the beans if you've got other secrets!

If you are traveling this 4th of July holiday, please be sure to do so safely.

Bread Anyone?

You know, nothing has been proven more confusing than the low carbohydrate craze recently bestowed upon us. If I'm being realistic, it's not just been recently bestowed, I've seen this before in the Atkins revolution, the South Beach diet, and now the Paleo Diet. The thing that I find most confusing and irritating is the amount of crazies that are representing this current "revolution" - on both sides, but mostly Paleo. As far as I can tell, I don't think this is anything new as far the enthusiasm is concerned for this subject. If I remember correctly, it was the same craziness when the Atkins was popular.

First, let me say that I don't mean to be insulting to the people who are adamant that low/no carb works for them. Well, okay, maybe I am being insulting. But, by "crazies" I mean that they are a cult of sorts. They bash anyone who reports that eating a low/no carbohydrate diet just does not work for them and I think that since there's so much bashing, backlashing and hatred going on against those that choose to keep grains IN their diets, it keeps those people quiet who find that this approach just doesn't work for them, nor do they find it realistic, and they can still reach their weight loss goals just fine. OH THE HORROR!!

Then you have people on both sides of the fence screaming for research and even if backed by research there's always, "Well your research SUCKS!", and on and on it goes like a bad tango dance no one wants to be in, all the while constantly stepping on the toes of a reluctant partner.

The gist of it is that you just need yourself and your own body for your own research. Really. None of us spend time investigating ourselves to evaluate what works for us. Far too many times we are poised at the ready to pounce on the next diet that comes down the pike when we see and hear what great results someone else has gotten on it. What works for you may not work for everyone and that's OKAY. As long as you can reach your goal healthfully, and realistically and remain that way without poking out an eye, or cutting off a limb.

I don't care either way for the arguments, I just want to get down to the bottom of whether we need carbohydrates or not and if we do: What kind? Are we doomed to be forever fat if we choose to eat them and is it true that our bodies are not designed to digest them?

I think we all just want what has proven to work, but if it works, is it safe? Can we do it longterm? Is this something we can live with? I'll adjust my eating habits to the way I need to, but those questions have to be answered for me first, and I'm willing to bet that they must be for you too. I can do without all the spewing of venomous, vile hate surrounding the subject. It's just not beneficial to anyone. With that being said, I will do my best in researching this topic for you so that you can make a choice that is YOURS with hopefully enough information you feel you need to make it.

To preface this let me just say that the carbohydrates that I'm referring to in this instance is anything that is considered an unadulterated starch, like sweet potatoes, white potatoes, any grains like quinoa, couscous, millet, brown rice or amaranth. I'm not referring to anything processed here, like donuts, cakes, candies or cookies. (You know, the kind we'd much rather be eating with no ill effects of consumption;o) I am also leaving out the 'gluten free' or 'wheat free' approach as that is a whole other revolution for a different series of articles, so please be aware of that.

First things first. I have a coach. I pretty much do anything she tells me to [after a thousand questions]. It's the first place I went with this question:

"Do we really need starchy carbohydrates?" Her answer?

However, because I am stubborn, and hardheaded, I needed to know why and so begins my own research into the subject and I'm taking you along with me.

What do they do for us?

I'm keeping in mind that my caloric expenditure is in a whole different category than it is for most individuals who have a real job, like perhaps, yourself. My caloric expenditure is a hazard of my chosen profession. It's a good one to me, and it's been intentional.

Ok, so let's get started with the first obvious question then:

Do we really need carbohydrates and why?

I'll begin by stating the obvious: Carbohydrates are an energy fuel source, we know this. It is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles for energy. It is also used by the brain to help us with our cognitive abilities. In researching looking for evidence of this, I found some very interesting findings.

In summation, most studies suggest that with ingestion of dietary carbohydrates, there is an increase in mood, brain function in terms of memory recall, and various cognitive and behavioral tests have better performance with carbohydrate ingestion. In most of the studies, none of the carbohydrates were really ingested alone. It was usually ingested as part of a meal, and there are some studies that did use glucose drinks.

(Just a side note: I would love to include all the links to the research I do. However, I am an admitted, lazy, geek-procrastinator, and having to list every source to all my articles makes me break out into hives and panic attacks. If you truly want to have the information, just contact me and I'm sure I can dig them up on medline, or google scholar. The day is fast approaching when they will be provided with all my articles for all the writers and doctors on my list who are cringing right now. Most of my sources come from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Just FYI).

There is also normal cognitive abilities associated with a protein rich meal without carbohydrate compared to a protein rich meal including a carbohydrate if they are evenly spaced apart like say every 2 to 4 hours. Even if the carbohydrates are very low, the fact that it is combined with a protein helps to have a positive affect on cognitive abilities.

This lends proof to the fact that evidence does exist that carbohydrates are needed at least for optimal brain function even if in small amounts. In the elderly and children especially there is evidence that things such as Alzheimer's and seizures are subsided by dietary carbohydrate consumption and so therefore makes carbohydrates essential for aging individuals and children suffering from seizures.

However, this does not mean that carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for the rest of us normal functioning individuals. It is wise to keep in mind that the body will break apart a protein in order for it to be utilized as fuel for energy. This is a process called gluconeogenesis. You probably know this as ketosis or the ketogenic diet.

If you have read about manipulating your starchy carbohydrates around your exercise activities, this has roots in the ketogenic diet. Your body uses the fuel that has the quickest availability. This simply means that if you have more carbohydrates in your system, then it is readily used as fuel. If you have less carbohydrates in your system, then the next widely available fuel source is fat. There is a specific protocol to SAFELY put yourself in this state. There is such a thing as a safe ketogenic state. If you don't know the details or specifics (or in other words if you don't know what you're doing) this can have disastrous effects. I will cover this further, you guessed it, in an upcoming ezine.

The ketogenic diet was developed specifically for children suffering from seizures and had been prescribed by doctors. It is also currently being researched clinically as a promising treatment for certain types of cancer in children and those in advanced stages of cancer, respiratory failure and possibly head trauma.

This diet was never intended as a weight loss tool and was developed to prevent seizures in children. The diet consists of 5 - 7 grams of carbohydrates per day, 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and large amounts of good fats (Think Lorenzo's Oil). More and more research is being done to ascertain the benefits of the ketogenic diet in relation to obesity and optimal leanness.

However, let's be honest here and recognize that most of us don't really care about whether older people can think, or children with seizures. I mean we care and are happy for them, but seriously, where does this leave us? I know that there are many people who would give up brain function, or cut off their big toe just to be lean and thin, or ripped and shredded. I'm not saying that's the case with you or that's a sane way to think, but isn't that why you are suffering through this series of articles? I'm not accusing us of being shallow, but we all just want our answer, right? What's in it for me? There is nothing wrong with that. Be patient, it's coming.

As far as digestion, most of the digestion issues I think you would care and be concerned about are associated with wheat or gluten intolerances. Again-another series of articles for future e-zines.

As far as going back to caveman days and questioning whether or not we were designed to digest carbohydrates or if they were even available many moons ago, is a subject I'm just not that interested in to commit time to researching it. For one thing, as far as I know and read, none of my ancestors were ever cavemen being that I am of the black persuasion. And for the record, there were access to grains back in the caveman days.

This is one of the main premises of the Paleo diet, but carbohydrates are here, and like or not - they're here to stay and enticing to eat. I just want to know if I choose to ingest them, how do I navigate which ones are best for optimal performance and leanness and in what amounts.

If the caveman approach is your cup of tea and you just really want to have a great argument with a Paleotard, then click on the link below.

Paleo Diet

I, like the gentleman who wrote the article have nothing against Paleo enthusiasts, there are really quite a few great, healthful things about the diet I've adopted long before Paleo ever came along, I just don't like it when they choose to be a Paleotard and want to verbally assault others for their choice(s) if they differ from their own.

Another thing to seriously consider about eating habits in general is the psychosomatic approach. For example, the French are known to eat breads, pastries, cheeses, habitually smoke, but do not have nearly the same rates of obesity, heart conditions, or other weight related metabolic conditions as Americans do. We stress about everything. How is your mind connection to food and what are you telling yourself when you're eating it? Where the mind goes, the body follows.

We also tend to take things to extremes. If I told you fasting is good for one day, then you would do that, love the benefits/results, but may play with taking it to extremes. With Americans if 1 is good, then 2 is probably better, and you're probably the best if you can do 4. Hell, let's just eliminate food altogether! That's silly and destructive.

Complete elimination of a food group is probably never a good idea either unless you are diagnosed deathly allergic. Most of us have probably talked our bodies into food intolerances because Dr. Mercola told us so.

Where does this leave us? We are going to explore more into the details of Ketogenic Dieting - the true source of the no/low carb. Standby for more information about it in the next ezine and hopefully with a little more clarity.

Intermittent Fasting

If you are interested in accessing the full Intermittent Fasting document as released by Dr. John Berardi, please click on the link below:

Intermittent Fasting

p.s.(once you click on the above link and it appears to be blank, continue to scroll down to get to the document in it's entirety)

This has been a buzzword lately via Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition. I have been asked repeatedly about this one. It's everywhere. I've attached the entire document by him in case you're interested enough to read through it and don't already have it.

I can assure you, this guy leaves no stone unturned. He's pretty good at researching things. I think you should always give yourself options and try things until you get the desired effect you want. As difficult as it may be, try to tune out what others have to say about it. You are your best source of information about yourself.

Before you try anything, give this some thought: If it's something that the famous people are trying and that's your sole purpose of wanting to try it, I would strongly advise you to run from it. Run as fast as you can. I assure and promise you that they benefit from what they promote in some way and they may not be using what they're selling you. Yeah, I know they seem like genuine, nice people and I'm not saying that they're not, but that's exactly why they've been approached to push a product/concept. I'd be willing to bet that there is someone like me behind the scenes telling them what to do next and keep them from harming themselves in the long run.

Think about it. If you truly believe that Sarah Jessica Parker is using Pantene to wash her hair, that Jennifer Hudson is still on Weight Watchers, or that Jennifer Aniston is using that facial cleanser or drinking SmartWater she is trying to 'sell' you in that commercial, then I've got some swamp land in Florida.....

I know, I know, they seem very convincing. You may think you know, but you have NO idea. Just sayin'!

I will talk more about Intermittent Fasting in my next ezine. I just want you to have a chance to look over it, just in case you have not heard about it, or have no idea what it is so you can form your own opinion, or want to try it out on your own and form your own conclusions.

Charity Spin

I would like to express my gratitude for everyone that participated in my charity ride for Operation Feed! I really do appreciate you coming in to ride with us.

I alone raised almost $1000 for our 90 minutes of torture. Super awesome! I got lots of great feedback (to my face anyway), and it wasn't as bad as what most people were thinking, which goes to show that you never know what you can do until you try! It went by F-A-S-T & great music made the difference.

Those that participated walked away with a t-shirt (see above). My oldest son Seth is responsible for the design. Thank you Seth!

Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart to everyone who donated their time and money to participate!!

The term "VELMANATOR" for those of you who may not know came from a fellow trainer's client when she looked at me walking through the gym and said I looked like a gladiator. Her trainer being quick-witted started calling me "VELMANATOR" and so did she and it stuck, so I've embraced it;o)

We had fun.

Topic Yet to Cover

How to prevent and get rid of hangovers.

I know it would have been great to have this before a big holiday weekend, but I just did not have enough time to look into it like I wanted to. I'm finding out some pretty great stuff! Look for it next time;o( My sincere apologies.

As always, if you have any comments, thoughts, or questions don't be afraid to CONTACT ME!!

In the meantime, please take care of yourself. You're worth it and you deserve it! - Velma

Click here if you're interested in the protein powder I sell

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