Boulder Flashback ?

OMG!  When I first moved to Boulder in 1995 (Goss Street to be exact) the fat free movement was in full tilt.  While I was already a foodie at heart, my cash flow was a little sparse.  

Multiple times per week, I would slip on my very worn out Birkenstocks and saunter a few blocks over to the formerly known Crystal Market on East Pearl St. to fill up my trusty back pack (yup, no car) with all of the least expensive vegetarian eats I could get my hands on.  

At that time, there was a pretty big global notion that fat made you fat(ALL kinds of fat that is– including nuts, avocado, egg yolks and coconut oil) along with a whole array of other terrible health problems. So, some of my favorite "healthy" go-to's were canned fat free lentil soup (organic of course), Annie's fat free mac and cheese (definelty NO butter), canned Bearitos fat free black beans (for dank burritos), and a host of fresh veggies which I would mix in for extra veggie love.  

Time passed, Jerry Garcia died (just months after I arrived), my only form of transportation (my bike) was stolen off my porch, and I fell in love with Boulder.  

While my love affair with Boulder grew (into what I would eventually call home), I grew more and more tired, depleted, weak and HANGRY. My ability to handle my life diminished. Eventually, a new friend I had made told me about the Naturopathic doctor she was working for and made me an appointment.

Everything changed...

After one look at me, a few tests, and what I consider to be a very important turning point in my health, my career and my life, I was prescribed a high fat (and protein) diet.  Not only a little, but an RX of high amounts at every single meal.  I was so desperate. I was so drained. I would have done almost anything to feel like myself again.

It worked.  It honestly it seemed like I "found myself".

{... Some of us go to India, and me – the Naturopath}


The only way I had been able to sustain this fat free vegetarian lifestyle was through sheer will power and restriction.

Once I began to listen to my body, my intuition and my true cravings, I had no choice but to surrender the fat free movement forever.  

Reflecting on this journey fired me up about sharing what I now know and teach about food, fat, and some other things...





We will debunk some common health myths, reframe our health and healing and find our way back home to ourselves. TRUTH TALKS are little nuggets of  truth for you to chew on. Together, we will take a deeper look at some of our personal beliefs and some automatic ways we tend to orient around our health.   For the next few weeks,  join me in a little immersion into some of the ways we can reframe our health and reclaim our power.

(and your suggestions and requests are welcome)

I have a few more truths (science based) for you to nosh on today...

{If you missed the previous TRUTH TALKS feel free to catch up anytime HERE...}





1. DOES FAT MAKE ME FAT?  If there is one thing I could change in the nutrition world it is that the food group "fat" and the body weight "fat" share the same word.  It is confusing.  Of course, we would naturally conclude that one is directly related to the other. Every day in my office I find myself debunking the myth of "fat makes us fat".  Yes, there are good fats and bad fats (see below) but in the category of good healthy natural fats, there is no correlation with body weight (or other health issues).  

P.S. If you like to geek out with science like me, check this out: Since the 1980's when the fat free movement was at it's highest, there have been many, many studies proving that not only is this notion not true, the data was falsified, and supported by some pretty suspicious participants. The Journal of the American Medical Association printed a comment about the new recommendations:  “tacitly acknowledging the lack of convincing evidence to recommend low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets for the general public in the prevention or treatment of any major health outcome, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, or obesity.”  Read the full New York Times Article Here.
TRUTH:  You can befriend fat. Not only is fat an essential nutrient for hundreds of biochemical processes in the human body, but is also a critical food group to stabilize our blood sugar and keep us in the targeted "fat burning zone".  To put it simply, fat is essential to burn body fat.



2.  GOOD FAT, BAD FAT?  Yes, there are both.  I know this may seem obvious, but there still seems to lie some confusion for many of us.  Here is how I define it:  Natural fat (i.e. fat found in nature) is good.  Processed fat (hydrogentated oils), GMO oils, trans-fats, and any other man made or altered fats we should avoid. Our bodies simply do not have the correct biochemistry to break them down.  On the other hand, fats found in nature, including pure saturated fats (organic meat, coconut oil, chocolate, butter), poly-unsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6), mono-unsaturated fats (avocado, olive oil, and most nuts) are wonderful to eat an array of to feed various systems in our bodies including our hormones, our brain chemistry, our skin health, and our heart health. 

TRUTH:  Eat natural fats.  Don't be shy about it. You will be more satiated throughout the day and your blood sugar will thank you. Listen to your body.  When we eat good fat, our body tells us when we have had enough (not quite the same with french fries).  With each of our unique metabolisms, activity level and biochemistry, listening to our satiation cues is the best option for eating good fat. If you are craving it, you most likely need it.



3. HELP, MY CHOLESTEROL!  If you are like most folks I know, I am sure you have thought about this. "What about my cholesterol?"  You may come from a family history of high cholesterol, you may just be weary of all the things that could go wrong down the road and want to be smart.  Either way, I think you will find these (science based) facts enlightening.  There are many kinds of cholesterol.  Good and bad.  When we get it checked, we want higher HDL and lower LDL.  

Here are the goods: The main culprit of high cholesterol comes from excess sugar and refined fats (gasp!).  When we have an excess of sugar in our blood, a lot of it is stored in the liver where our own bodies convert it into bad cholesterol.  Why?  Well, we are not designed to eat that much refined sugar or high glycemic sugars (mainly from processed foods).  We have adapted a response to deal with and store this excess sugar which leads to high cholesterol, plaque in our arteries, triple by-passes etc.  

TRUTH:  In actuality, we need dietary fat (including saturated fat) to break down bad cholesterol.  Your heart will be fine.  Your cholesterol will likely go down.  Focus on avoiding the sugar instead of the natural fats.  According to Dr. Diana Schwartzbein, M.D. (one of my primary teachers) eating (natural) fat and cholesterol prevents heart attacks by lowering insulin levels and switching off the internal production of cholesterol.


When you eat better you feel better.  "HANGRY" is a choice you don't have to make.