How is your month of May so far! Look at me, I am on the ball so early this month (sort of, haha)! I think that is because my semester is over and I have some time back to think about other things. (Is it weird that I already miss it! I think its partly because I know I won’t be back til January. The students were so fun this semester).
Teaching and seeing how much they grew over the past semester (and year for some!) is always so cool to see. If I was never given the opportunity to teach, I would have never went down the path of health coaching. I really believe that certain things are put into your path for a reason. People are always so amazed when I tell them I am a professor. Because for my entire life, I was always so shy and very much of an introvert. Don’t be mistaken, that first year was the scariest and hardest thing ever. I still feel bad for those students during that first year. I had no idea what I was doing (honestly, there are days, where I still don’t, haha). Teaching (and really just the act of standing up in front of 30 people) completely took me out of my comfort zone. I was beet red every single time I got up front. It started with freshman chemistry labs…and then I was gifted the opportunity to teach nutrition…nutrition! The only thing I was told was to make sure there is some chemistry involved. :O This was a topic, I always secretly researched for my own health and curiosity. I read every healthy living blog and wanted to know about every diet. So when they told me that this was a course they wanted in the department, I jumped on it! It felt like, that was something I was meant to do. Have you ever had moments, where things are put in front of you and you just know “this is it!!” “This is what I have been waiting for?” But just didn’t know that was the thing you were waiting for? (hope that makes sense). That was it, and here we are. Sometimes dreams are fulfilled when you aren’t even sure what they are yet. You just have to know that everything is put in your path for a reason, even if you don’t know what it is at that moment. Things always have a strange way of working themselves out. Just be open to it and keep trying new and scary things. Now, I want everyone to have that feeling and to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
And with that..I have a fun post about my favorite nutrition topic. Thanks as always for reading and your continued support of me in this journey. ooxoxox – Lia
“Let’s talk about fat”
Now, that my eating has basically normalized back to what it was pre-pregnancy (thank gooood), I wanted to share a post of fats because A. Its my favorite nutrition topic B. Love the science behind it..it all clicks! C. Fat things just taste better, right?!
Once, I started to learn the biochemistry about fats and what your body actually does after you eat them, I never understood why they got such a bad rap for so long. The science never backed up the “low fat” craze (which really started from the sugar industry and shady scientists).
Once I shifted my thinking, and stopping fearing fat (like we all did), my health actually improved. I lost weight, gained more muscle, got a ton of energy, my face finally cleared up and I regulated my hormones (which led to us finally getting pregnant!). Food just started to taste better! Also, I really missed butter. (Annnd, my husband lost about 60 lb this past year and I only buy him whole milk now, which he drinks about 2 gal/week of…just saying).
In my course, I teach a lot about fatty acids and cholesterol. Where they come from, what you body does with them, etc. I am not going to get into too much detail about here (I actually spend two weeks teaching about it), but yes, you need them to live.
Actually, you need more fat than you probably think you do.
A few of the main reasons you need fat in your life:
1. Every single cell in your body needs fat to hold themselves together. The membrane of each cell in your body is made up of fatty acids and cholesterol to hold all the gooey stuff inside the cell together and also to prevent unwanted things from entering the cell.
2. Cholesterol is needed to make a ton of hormones in your body, including estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, and even Vitamin D! Hormones are molecules that turn on/off important mechanisms in your body. Without them, you body just won’t work efficiently and a lot of health problems are actually due to hormone imbalances (and not enough people are talking about this!).
3. Another major reason you need fat is because its a very efficient energy source…so much so, that you body chooses fat to store because your body is very smart and stores something that is very efficient. It takes longer to digest and turn into energy, so if you eat fat, you actually feel full and stay full longer. No more needing to snack all time or overeat. You just feel more satisfied with your food.
4. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These are both essential nutrients that your body needs to survive, but you can’t make them. So, you have to eat them. Needed for your brain and inflammation protection.
5. Some vitamins won’t get absorbed and into your body if you don’t have fat accompanying them, like the vitamins A, D, E and K. These are quite important for their own reasons.
Now, let’s break some myths:
Myth 1. Fat makes you fat. This is true only if you eat too much carbs/sugar then what your body can handle, along with the fat. The driver for producing fat in your body is insulin (which is one of those important hormones!). One of insulin’s jobs is to literally tell your body to store fat, HOWEVER insulin is only triggered when it sees sugar in your blood. So, if you don’t eat sugar..insulin isn’t released..and the mechanism to store fat just isn’t there. This is simple biochemistry.
Myth 2. Dietary cholesterol increases your “cholesterol” levels in your blood, which could lead to heart problems. There has been no conclusive evidence of either cholesterol or saturated fat leading to heart disease. Lots of studies have been done, but it hasn’t been proven. For every small study that seems to “prove it,” there is more to say the opposite. Again, you actually need cholesterol to make a lot of important things in your body and also saturated fat is used for lots of important things (see reasons above). The “bad cholesterol” and “good cholesterol” your doctor checks for, are actually different things. (I can explain this too in a separate post, if interested). Actually, there are a lot of good studies that see an increase in “good cholesterol” if you eat more fat. “Bad cholesterol” is actually linked to excess sugar intake, not fat.
If you feel like “something is off” or you are tired all the time, trouble sleeping, constantly hungry, face is messed up or just can’t drop the weight, even though you are doing everything right? Check you fat intake. Are you still fearing it? Stop it. Full fat is good for you. Your body is probably asking for it, and you aren’t listening! If you are worried about the “extra calories”..DON’T. You will naturally eat less, if you are feeding your body with whole foods, including fat from real whole foods, like nature intended. Again, give your body what it actually needs and its smart enough to do the right things with it.
So, eat all the cheese, butter, avocados, coconut milk, nuts, full fat yogurt or dairy, ghee, bacon (uncured), olive oil, olives, eggs (with the yolk), hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, unsweetened mayo (or make your own!), grass-fed meats…I’m even seeing duck fat and lard coming back.
However, you still need to think quality over quantity, especially with animal-based foods. If you can swing it, go the grass-fed, organic route. It’s not just ethically better, but they really are more nutritionally dense than conventional. Also, real food first. Remember real fat, from real whole food sources is what your body wants and can use. You will naturally feel full and satisfied because you are eating real food. No processed or vegetable oils here.
Experiment to see what works for you. Everyone is so different. But if you need help navigating the food aisles, or what to eat, I am always here as your personal coach and friend.