What do we make of alcohol? In sufficient amounts, it’s a poison. It’s incredibly addictive. It destroys entire communities. It tears families apart and compels otherwise reasonable, upstanding individuals to commit terribly senseless acts.
On the other hand, it’s a powerful social lubricant. The good stuff tastes great and can enhance the healthfulness of certain foods while inhibiting the unhealthfulness of others. It’s fun, it’s pleasurable, and it brings real (if chemically enhanced) joy to people. Moreover, we have a long and storied history with alcohol. It’s been an integral part of human culture and society for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years.
So, what’s the deal? Is it good, or is it bad? Is it poison, or is it a gift? Let’s take a look at both sides of the story, which, as is often the case, isn’t exactly black and white.
You know that black hole of time between work and bed? There’s nowhere to go, nothing new to watch, and a bottle of wine (or bag of chips) calling your name from the other room. Call it the pandemic happy hour or straight-up boredom, but if you’re using your after hours time in a less-than-ideal way, check out this week’s post from PHCI Coaching Director, Erin Power. And keep your questions coming in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group or below in the comments. Ann Marie asked: I don’t have a problem eating healthy during the day, but I can’t seem to control myself after dinner. I just feel ravenous, even when we’ve made a healthy meal. I try to hold out but once my husband goes into the kitchen for a snack, I’m right there with him. And once I start, I can’t stop eating!! How do I tame my late-night cravings? I think it’s safe to say that your eating cycle is off, Ann Marie. What do I mean by eating cycle? It has to do with your circadian rhythm. People used to eat during the daylight hours and fast at night. But with our new normal, there’s a good chance you’re burning the candle at both ends and just grabbing a coffee or quick bar or yogurt to fuel yourself during the day – and then feasting at night. You’ve totally moved away from your body’s natural rhythm. Why does this matter? Because your circadian rhythm controls everything from your appetite to your body temperature to your hormones – even how fast you heal from wounds. This study looked at the behaviours of night-shift workers and found that they have a 43% higher risk of obesity than their 1st shift counterparts. The culprit? Circadian misalignment. Researchers had participants who worked the midnight to 6am shift complete a self-administered questionnaire about their occupational history, socio-demographics, habits around food, smoking, alcohol drinking, leisure-time physical activity, sleep patterns, and mental stress. Of the 3,871 participants, 26.8% were overweight and 83% were obese. They were also more likely to smoke and drink more alcohol. My guess is that you’re on autopilot most of the day, totally oblivious to your hunger cues. And once your body perceives that it’s made it to the end of that day, it shifts into ravenous mode. In general, your body doesn’t have a lot of need for fuel at this time of day, so eating your largest meal at suppertime, then snacking all night is actually out of alignment with your biology. So how do you get your circadian rhythm back on track? Eat your biggest meal during the daylight hours. I like to start with a satiating protein rich breakfast. If the idea of eating within the first few hours of waking doesn’t sound appealing at all, you’re likely still full from dinner the night before, so begin tapering the size of your last meal (including snacks) for a few days and you’ll notice a … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How to Stay on Track After Hours”
It’s holiday party season, and no one wants to be left out of the celebration. Whether you’re eating Primal, paleo, general low-carb or even keto, there’s no reason to relegate yourself to club soda when you’d rather be enjoying something more… festive. Today we’ve got four delicious takes on classic cocktail recipes for your holiday.
With natural, no-sugar wine (we use Dry Farm Wines), you can enjoy lighter, low-carb versions of your favorite drinks. So, raise a glass—and be sure to make enough to go around.
Today’s guest post is generously offered up by Craig Emmerich, husband to—and co-author with—the queen of keto herself, Maria Emmerich. Enjoy!
When we consume macro nutrients, our bodies go through a priority for dealing with them. This priority can be very useful in understanding how our bodies work and how to leverage it for losing weight.
The body doesn’t like having an oversaturation of fuel in the blood at any time. It tightly manages the fuels to avoid dangerous situations like hyperglycemia or blood glucose that is too high. But it also manages and controls other fuels like ketones (beta hydroxybutyrate or BHB levels) and fats (free fatty acids or FFA and triglycerides) to keep them under control and not oversaturate the blood with fuel.
So, you’ve done a Whole 30® (or other dietary reset involving the removal of potentially allergenic or sensitizing foods to establish homeostasis). It’s over. It went well. You feel good. You’re ready to take on the world. Now what?
Officially, you’re supposed to reintroduce the allergenic foods you removed, one at a time, to see how they affect your digestive, psychological, metabolic, and overall health. After all, the main point of the Whole 30 is to uncover the allergenic foods that actually bother you and the ones that don’t. A broad, diverse diet is awesome if you tolerate it, and having more foods available to eat makes living easier and more enjoyable. There’s no reason not to eat legumes (or dairy, or a glass of wine) if you like them and they don’t negatively affect your health. The reintroduction phase of the Whole 30 simply helps you learn which of those foods work and which don’t. That said, it’s intimidating for a lot of folks….
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m responding to four reader comments. First up, if a person can’t eat eggs, doesn’t like liver, but really wants choline, can they just supplement? Second, are a couple handfuls of almonds too much omega-6 for the average person? What if they eat fish? Third, a new study claims to show that keto dieting tanks hepatic insulin sensitivity. What should we make of it? Are we giving ourselves type 2 diabetes by going keto? And fourth, I highlight a great approach to drinking alcohol (and living in general) from one of our readers.